TOPS (Trails, Open Space and Parks) is a city program first passed by voters in April of 1997. It is administered by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department of Colorado Springs with oversight from the TOPS Working Committee. The Working Committee is made up of  city residents appointed to monitor the TOPS budget, proposed purchases and projects, and make sure TOPS dollars are spent as voters intended. The TOPS .01% sales tax provides funding for the acquisition, development and preservation of trails, open space and parks. More information on the TOPS program, including how residents can apply for TOPS funding to purchase open space is available at the city’s TOPS web page.

Colorado Springs’ TOPS program has preserved over 6200 acres of open space in the Pikes Peak region over the past 20 years. It has built more than 32 parks and constructed close to 50 miles of urban trails. The TOPS sales tax generates approximately $9 million annually and is leveraged through grants and private funds. The 2014 Colorado Springs Parks Master Plan helps determine where land is to be purchased and preserved and where trails and parks are to be constructed.

The TOPS program is essentially a three-step decision-making process: study and recommendation from parks staff in partnership with the TOPS Working Committee, approval by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and final approval by the City Council. Applications for TOPS funding may be submitted by individual members of the public, property owners, organizations, TOPS Working Committee members, the Parks and Recreation Department and other agencies. All requests must be submitted using the TOPS Application. Applications are reviewed by the Parks and Recreation staff and then provided to the TOPS Working Committee.

 

 

 

Without the TOPS program some of our most favorite parks, trails and open spaces would not exist. Stratton Open Space was one of the first  properties to be preserved. Followed by Blodgett and Red Rock Canyon Open Space. All three were targets for local development. The commercial vision for Red Rock Canyon was a private golf course and townhouses. Voters instead approved an extension of the TOPS program in 2003 through 2025 providing funds for the purchase of the 789 acres that is now Red Rock Canyon Open Space and eventually the property used to create Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Below you will find a list of parks, trails and open spaces purchased and constructed using TOPS dollars.

TOPS Designated Properties

Bluestem Prairie Open Space 

Corral Bluffs Open Space

High Chaparral Open Space

Red Rock Canyon Open Space

Stratton Open Space

Union Meadows Open Space

TOPS funding also contributed to portions of these properties:

America the Beautiful Park

Austin Bluffs Open Space

Bear Creek Trail

Blodgett Peak Open Space

Buckskin Charlie Park

Chamberlain Trail

Coleman Park

Cottonwood Creek Trail

Deerfield Hills Community Center

Dr. Frank Houck Park

El Pomar Youth Sports Complex

Eugene McCleary Park

Frank Castello Park

Foothills Trail

Garden of the Gods Park

Gold Camp Park

Gossage Youth Sports Complex

High Meadows Park

Horace Shelby Park

Homestead Trail

Iron Mountain

Jack Templeton Park

James Smith Sr. Park

John Stone Park

John Venezia Park

Judge Lunt Park

Kathleen Marriage Park

Ken Jordan Park

La Foret Trail

Laura Gilpin Park

Marshall Sprague Park

Memorial Park

Manitou Incline

Midland Trail

North Cheyenne Canyon

Pikes Peak Greenway

Pikeview Reservoir

Powers Trail

Prairie Grass Park

Pring Ranch Park

Rock Island Trail

Rockrimmon Trail

Roy Benavidez Park

Sand Creek Trail

Shooks Run Trail

Sinton Trail

Skyline Trail

Snowy River Park

Soaring Eagles Park

Springs Ranch Park

Stetson Park

Stetson Trail

Ute Valley Park

West Creek Park

Wildflower Park

Wilson Ranch Park

Woodmen Trail

 

 

 

For every $10 of sales tax collected Colorado Springs, only 1¢ goes towards TOPS. We have one of the lowest TOPS tax in the front range; Denver collects 25¢ for it’s parks and trails. The Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC) is spearheading the campaign to not only renew TOPS in Colorado Springs, but to increase it. Our outdoor spaces are important and it costs money to create and maintain trails and open space. We want your 2¢. Pennies for parks, small change for big gains! TOSC is working hard to put this initiative on the ballet, fall of 2021. We hope you will stand with us and vote to support funding for trails, open space and parks. 

Do you want to preserve and improve our outdoor spaces?

Become a member!

For as little as $30 Join the Coalition and advocate for the preservation, improvement and maintenance of our TRAILS, OPEN SPACES and PARKS.