This November El Paso County is asking voters to use $2 million of excess revenues to invest in critical park, trail, and open space maintenance projects.
Reasons to Vote YES
The Trails and Open Space Coalition along with Friends of EPC Nature Centers, Black Forest Trails Association and many other groups and individuals are encouraging our community to vote Yes for Parks and Vote Yes on 1A.
- 1A is not a tax increase. It is surplus revenue that has already been collected; $8.41 per property.
- Money will go to parks, trails, open spaces, nature centers, and the county fairground.
- Funds will be used so the County can take care of what we have!
- Projects are spread throughout the County so there is something for everyone.
- Healthy parks, trails and open spaces contribute to a healthy economy.
1A Project List
Bear Creek Regional Park Improvements
The funds will be used to upgrade Bear Creek Nature Center exhibits to provide a more interactive and educational presentation, resurface parking lots and tennis courts, upgrade the vita course, and other facility improvements.
Black Forest Regional Park Restoration Project
Most of the trails in Black Forest Regional Park were destroyed during the 2013 floods. The funds will be used for trail restoration, drainage improvements, and other facility repairs.
Pineries Open Space ‐ Phase 1
Pineries Open Space is a county‐owned 1,100 acre parcel located at Volmer and Shoup roads in Black Forest. Funds will be used to support opening the site for public use and include fire restoration work, new parking areas, a restroom facility, outdoor classroom, corral, and about eight miles of trails.
Wedgewood Farms Open Space
Wedgewood Farms is located south of Fountain and adjacent to Fountain Creek and Clear Spring Ranch Park (County managed facility). The 63 acre site features scenic views, fishing ponds and access to Fountain Creek. The funds will be used to support the acquisition of the site.
Falcon Regional Park ‐ Phase 1
The project includes the construction of a regional park for the rapidly growing Falcon area on county‐owned property near Falcon High School. The funds will support the first phase of improvements including athletic fields, pavilions, trails, and parking.
Kane Ranch Open Space ‐ Phase 1
Kane Ranch is a county‐owned, 440‐acre parcel east of Fountain. The funding would support opening the site for public use and includes completing an access road, parking lot, and trails.
Fountain Creek Regional Park Improvements
The existing athletic fields are in need of restoration including adding higher quality soil material and reseeding.
County Fairgrounds Renovation Projects
The funds would support the removal of several dilapidated barns and buildings and replace with multi‐use, energy efficient and functional building(s) and other facility upgrades.
Ute Pass Regional Trail Expansion
The Ute Pass Regional Trail is the primary western regional trail that connects the Teller County line to Manitou Springs. Funds will be used to support the planning, public process, and construction of the final trail section from Longs Ranch Road to west of Cascade.
Jones Park Renovation Project
If the City of Colorado Springs elects to convey Jones Park to the County, the funds will be used to support significant trail system restoration to allow the trails to continue to support both motorized and non‐motorized recreation and to address environmental issues impacting Bear Creek.
County‐Wide Trail Improvements
County Parks currently manages over 100 miles of trails. A number of trail segments are in need of renovation due to flooding and/or significant use.
Elephant Rock Open Space
The 63‐acre parcel is located near Palmer Lake adjacent to the Santa Fe Regional Trail, and features scenic views and trail opportunities. The funds will be used to support the acquisition of the site.
Vote yes on 1A—vote yes on county parks
by Alex Johnson (Excerpt) There probably won’t be any television ads or slick political mailers about issue 1A this fall; it isn’t a top of the ticket race between two political powerhouses or a particularly hot-button issue. Nevertheless, local voters will decide a critical question on this year’s ballot: Should El Paso County retain a $2 million TABOR surplus to fund county parks, trails and open spaces? Yes, it should. El Paso County voters should pass this ballot issue, 1A, to continue funding and maintaining our region’s stellar recreation network. The Board of County Commissioners of El Paso County recently approved the $2,044,758 surplus being on the ballot to fund a specific list of trails and parks projects in the county. This year, the County budget allotted $1.8 million to the County Parks Department, so the approval of over $2 million by voters would be a large and welcome infusion of dollars into this comparatively underfunded, yet still imperative department. 1A follows the examples of other successful local initiatives such as the PPRTA, which funds a specific list of transit projects. Having a dedicated list of projects ensures that the $2 million will not be squandered by government waste. Our community is renowned worldwide for its stunning environment, numerous and challenging hikes and boundless outdoor recreation opportunities. A “yes” vote on issue 1A will ensure that these opportunities and our parks are maintained and available for our posterity.
Links to articles about 1A
- 2014-10-15 Letter to the Editor–Dennis Hisey
- 2014-10-8 Letter to the Editor–Sallie Clark
- 2014-10-4 Hiking Bob’s column in the CS Indy
- 2014-10-1 John Hazlehurst “City Sage” column
- 2014-10-1 Letter to the Editor–Jeff Cramer
- 2014-10-1 Letter to the Editor–James Mariner
- 2014-9-19 Susan Davies “Trail Notes,” page 4.