The Trails and Open Space Coalition is a non-profit organization created in 1987 with the purpose of working to preserve open space and rural land; and create a network of trails, bikeways and greenways in the Pikes Peak region. We work cooperatively with local and regional governments, community organizations, businesses, families and individuals who share the vision of an interconnected network of trails, greenways and open space. We do this through advocacy, education, project funding and volunteer programs. We work primarily in El Paso and Teller counties. However, we also get involved in state and national issues such as transportation funding, Safe Routes to School, Complete Streets and other matters.
The Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC) receives NO funds from TOPS, the Lottery or funding from the Colorado Springs or El Paso/Teller County parks departments. Most of our funding comes from private sources: memberships, events, grants and contributions. We are sometimes confused with TOPS (Trails, Open Space and Parks). TOPS is the mechanism used by the Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department to implement the TOPS ordinance and allocate the sales tax funding passed by the voters in 1997. Each year, the TOPS sales tax generates about $6M in revenue for trails, open space and parks.
TOPS Description and Purpose
New trails, parks and open space master plans have been created for most local communities which provide acquisition,development and use strategies. We are the nonprofit that assists in the implementation of these master plans.
We have a staff of four people and are governed by a board of directors. TOSC can provide information on creating an advocacy organization like ours. If you are interested in learning more, call us at (719) 633-6884 or e-mail us.
One of our major efforts is creating volunteer citizens groups that can provide advocacy for particular open space parcels or trails. We provide information on conservation methods, advocacy techniques, fundraising methods and much more. We can also provide insight into the Colorado Springs TOPS program - how it works, procedures, etc. If you need information on trails, bikeways, ranchland preservation or open space, call Susan Davies, the executive director of the Trails and Open Space Coalition or Bill Koerner, our advocacy director. We can be reached at (719) 633-6884. We may also be reached through "contact us."
We believe the public/private partnerships we have created are the only way to preserve open space and build trails in the region. Cooperatively, we, and all the groups, agencies and individuals involved, have been successful in preserving Red Rock Canyon, White Acres, Corral Bluffs, Union Meadows, Austin Bluffs Open Space (formerly the Houck Estate), the Stratton Open Space, Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Bluestem Prairie, Blodgett Peak, High Chaparral and Catamount Open Spaces. We have helped get over 100 miles of trails built in Colorado Springs, another 65 in El Paso County and dozens more in Teller County and our mountain parks. We've funded trailheads at Blodgett Peak and Bluestem Prairie open spaces and are currently working on improving trail connections and developing a Sustainable Parks Initiative.
TOSC continues to provide leadership to trails, bikeways and open space citizens’ groups. TOSC staff and board members serve on many local government boards including serving on the Colorado Springs Planning Commission and the Citizens Transportation Advisory Board, serving as members on the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments Transportation Enhancements Sub-Committee, the Bike Week Planning Committee, Teller County Trails Committee, the Ute Pass Trails Committee, the Colorado Springs Trails and Open Space Technical Teams, as well as numerous ad-hoc committees.