Trails and Open Space Coalition Blog
Be Part of the Process.
Upcoming meetings you could attend...(UPDATED 11/5/2013)
November 6, 6:30 pm--Black Forest Fire Assessment for County Parks, Black Forest Fire Station One, 11445 Teachout Rd. What's damaged, and how much it will cost to fix. Pictures and maps; very informational.
November 6, 6:30 pm--Stormwater Public Meeting, Cheyenne Mountain High School, 1200 Cresta Road. Colorado Springs City Council, the El Paso County Board of Commissioners, and the Stormwater Task Force will hold public meetings to gather citizen feedback on stormwater management and discuss recent management proposals. Representatives of all three groups will be in attendance to hear public input on stormwater issues and management options.
November 12, 9 am—Special City Council meeting on CSU water for parks, City Hall. How will City Council address the $1.17 million shortfall in the parks budget which will happen when water rates go up? Will they work with CSU to create a special rate? That's what we're asking for--be there to find out and speak up!
November 19, 6:30 pm--Stormwater Public Meeting, Leon Young Service Center, 1521 S Hancock Expressway. Colorado Springs City Council, the El Paso County Board of Commissioners, and the Stormwater Task Force will hold public meetings to gather citizen feedback on stormwater management and discuss recent management proposals. Representatives of all three groups will be in attendance to hear public input on stormwater issues and management options.
Participate in a Non-motorized Transportation Master Plan Public Meeting--check out their website at http://walkbikeconnect.org ! Click on the tab marked "Participate", and you can add comments regarding walking, biking, and trail connection to an area map.
Tues. Nov 12th 6-8pm Woodland Park, Ute Pass Cultural Center, 210 E. Midland Ave.
Thurs. Nov. 14th 6-8pm Colorado Springs, Regional Dev. Ctr. 2880 International Circle.
Mon. Nov 18th 6-8pm Fountain, City Council Chambers 116 S. Main St.
Wed. Nov 20th 6-8pm Monument, D-38 Admin Bldg. 146 N Jefferson St.
Speak Your Piece.
Something you can do RIGHT NOW—E-mail or call City Council and County Commissioners and request more general fund support for our parks, trails and open spaces in the 2014 budget.
Colorado Springs City Council: (see a map of City Council Districts here)
Keith King, President Dist 3 Merv Bennett, Pres. Pro-tem At-Large
385-5470 firstname.lastname@example.org 385-5469 email@example.com
Don Knight, Dist 1 Joel Miller, Dist 2
385-5487 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Hellen Collins, Dist 4 Jill Gaebler, Dist 5
385-5492 firstname.lastname@example.org 385-5483 email@example.com
Andy Pico, Dist 6 Jan Martin, At-Large
385-5491 firstname.lastname@example.org 385-5486 email@example.com
Val Snider, At-Large
El Paso County Commissioners: (Maps of Commissioners Districts available on the County website here)
Darryl Glenn firstname.lastname@example.org 520-6411 Dist 1
Amy Lathan email@example.com 520-6412 Dist 2
Sallie Clark firstname.lastname@example.org 520-6413 Dist 3
Dennis Hisey email@example.com 520-6414 Dist 4
Peggy Littleton firstname.lastname@example.org 520-6415 Dist 5
Show your support.
You can contribute in many ways to TOSC.
- Contribute to TOSC during the Give! Campaign at www.indygive.com/tosc.
- Support our Business Partners over the holiday season (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, D'Vine Wine, Pocket Pals Trail Maps, Mountain Equipment Recyclers, Pizzeria Rustica, Mountain Chalet, Great Harvest, Mountain Chalet).
- Renew your TOSC membership for 2014. Consider giving a membership as a holiday gift. Encourage friends and family members to join TOSC too!
- Drop off your gently used outdoor gear and clothing at Mountain Equipment Recyclers and name TOSC as the recipient of your donation. 1024 S Tejon, 719-210-6427.
- Participate in a Members-only hike or event.
- Be a part of the conversation—Visit our website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and like, follow, or comment.
- Volunteer! Help maintain and clean up our parks, trails and open spaces.
ANY TIME—Check www.openspacevolunteers.org and find a Friends Group or Volunteer Project.
Here is the latest from Colorado Springs and El Paso Co. Parks Departments.
City of Colorado Springs (Nov. 6, 2013 update)
City has 71 Total Projects related to flooding. Staff is currently walking every foot of trail (200 miles), noting damage and classifying. There are 8-10 insurance claims; the rest will be paid for with a combination of FEMA money, general fund dollars and volunteer hours (to help meet grant match requirements). FEMA guidelines require an 18-month completion deadline.
High Drive (closed) – no improvements yet, property boundary issues, will get update from FEMA Nov. 15th
North Cheyenne Canon Park (closed):
Two big projects to be completed before the park can be reopened:
- Repairs to Gold Camp Rd, now underway, funded by USFS, heavy equipment involved, rock-fall potential
- Rock Scaling (Rock fall mitigation) begins Nov 11th. Will bring down boulders at risk of coming down on their own. 10 locations assessed. Work on 9 to commence. Several projects are minor, some complicated. No dynamite will be used. Material too large to be removed by truck will be split first. All used for Gold Camp Rd “hole”. Initial cost for rock scaling @$20,000.
Mt. Cutler Trail Bridge still closed. Fiberglass bridge structure appears ok. Loose material above and below. Safety issue. May take some time to open.
Some of the Columbine trail (closed) has been repaired – much with volunteer help which is crucial because it helps satisfy the 12.5% match required by FEMA.
S. Canon road temporarily repaired. (Closed). This will allow work crews and equipment to get in to the Canyon. Material removed being used at 7 Falls to assist with their repairs.
Incline (open) additional damage – $500,000. The City is hoping that FEMA covers that extra cost.
Palmer Park (open)– 1 damaged pedestrian bridge not repaired yet, hoping to improve with new culvert.
Greenway at S. Circle (Closed) it will take 270 truck-loads of material to fill gap. Needs to be armored to prevent from reoccurring. (no work done yet)
Sinton Trail (Open) detour created (no change)
Information from the City about North Cheyenne Canon (Oct 31, 2013):
- The Department will be installing heavy duty gates at both ends of Lower Gold Camp Road. The first gate will be installed at the east end of the gravel section of Gold Camp Road the week of November 12th. The second gate will be installed along the North Cheyenne Canyon road at the turn-out just below the large gravel parking lot. These permanent gates will be used to control traffic during the repairs to Gold Camp, as well as serve as a management tool into the future.
Temporary closures will affect Black Forest Regional Park and the Pikes Peak Greenway this winter, while planned construction and upgrades are completed beginning in October.
El Paso County was about to begin construction on the facilities of Black Forest Regional Park when the Black Forest Fire broke out. Now through November, the County is completing the upgrades. Entrance upgrades include road widening and asphalt, parking lot asphalt and restroom upgrades. Interpretive kiosks will be added to the trails, and a horseshoe pit installed near the pond. Please be aware that periodic road, parking lot and restroom closures may be necessary for safety reasons during construction.
The City of Colorado Springs is moving forward with significant improvements to key segments of the Pikes Peak Greenway to upgrade the trail to current Trail Master Plan standards, including some ADA improvements and replacement of failing asphalt with concrete. Construction will take place this winter in three segments: (weather dependent)
1. Garden of the Gods north to the pedestrian bridge at the south end of University Village.
2. South end of Pikeview Reservoir south to the dirt jump park at Gossage Park.
3. South Nevada Avenue low water crossing south to pedestrian bridge.
Construction will begin on Segment 1 the week of October 29th, weather permitting. During construction, trail users will detour onto Mark Dabling Blvd.
The Parks Department is working to repair the flood damaged trails in Red Rock Canyon. The larger trails/roads will be addressed immediately. Contractors using heavy machinery will be temporarily closing those trails while they complete needed work. Work will commence on Red Rock Canyon Trail first. Once we address the issues on the larger trails the Department will work with the Friends of Red Rock Canyon, CATS team, and other partners to coordinate volunteer work days that will repair the damage on other trails.
North Cheyenne Canon remains closed until the rock scaling assessment and USFS determine the best way to address safety concerns and flooding issues in the canyon. We hope that the contractor will have a completed rock scaling report by next week. Once the federal shutdown ends we can resume talks with the USFS to determine their needs and how the Department can assist to efficiently complete projects. These determinants continue to provide the gauge of when we can safely open the park to the public.
Thanks to our parks personnel working tirelessly to re-open trails as soon as they are safe.
- The US Forest Service announced five trails in the Bear Creek Watershed have been closed. Forest Service trails 665, 667, 668, 701 and 720, from the junction with 701 to 668, are closed to all users. The emergency order says the closure will remain in effect until September 2014 unless rescinded.
- Greenway from Nevada south. 150-foot section is gone, work needed includes embankment, bridge and trail. Will be closed significant amount of time due to extent and complexity of damage.
- North Cheyenne Canon Park. 80 -100' of Gold Camp Road is gone between tunnels 1 and 2. USFS plans to provide funds to fix the road. Construction is expected to begin within the next 4-6 weeks. Picnic areas covered with sediment, back country trail damage - repairs underway. Hazard trees along creeks and roads being removed. High Drive impassible from many washouts.
- Harlan Wolfe Park - both homes on site damaged, trail gone, garden untouched.
- Black Forest Regional Park--active use area open, trails and playground closed. The playground was washed away; Pikes Peak Community Foundation is helping to fund replacement.
- Rainbow Falls. Damage to the hillside; County has a grant and is waiting for CDOT to complete stabilization project in order to begin construction.
- Blodgett Peak
- Palmer Park - damage to foot bridge and roads, but open
- Sinton Trail - neighborhood access gone, detour in place
- Red Rock Canyon Open Space - ponds have water
- Ute Valley Park
- Garden of the Gods is open as is Foothills Trail!
- Rock Ledge Ranch
- Cheyenne Mountain State Park
- Bear Creek Park
- Fountain Creek Regional Trail. Portions are closed due to damage--see the map here.
- Incline. Significant damage - $500,000 to repair new damage; lost lots of soil.
Please add to our list of trail-related reports. Email us at email@example.com Thank you!
UPDATE: The bench is finished, with the support of neighbors, community volunteers, passers-by, TOSC and Concrete Couch! Be sure to ride or walk by...enjoy the shade, and great views of Pikes Peak. It is located on the Midland Trail just east of the S 17th St entrance.
Judy Steininger relaxes on the bench that she helped build in memory of her late husband, Duane Dosch.
The TOPS Working Committee, Parks Advisory Board and Colorado Springs City Council have all resoundedly approved the purchase of 200 acres of HP property adjacent Ute Valley Park for open space. Why is that important?
- This property has been in the Parks Master Plan for 15 years.
- Many park users assume it's public property and use it regularly.
- It will provide a trail connection to the Pikes Peak Greenway.
- Neighborhoods surrounding Ute Valley Park whole-heartedly support the additional parkland.
The new Friends of Ute Valley Park are committed to raising at least $100,000 to support the purchase and maintenance. To date they have contributions and committments of $40,000. Lyda Hill has generously pledged $50,000 if they can raise $50,000! Let's help put them over the top!
The Trails and Open Space Coalition has helped the Friends Group and championed this purchase every step of the way, as part of our mission to foster volunteerism and stewardship of parks, trails and open space. We continue to help the Friends with organizational support, publicity, fundraising advice, and advocating for their cause.
Total price tag for this purchase: $6.4 million. The Trails, Open Space and Parks tax, Great Outdoors Colorado (lottery) and the Trust for Public Land are working together to provide the funds. This project is exactly why TOPS was created in the first place. With Friends of Ute Valley Park determined to raise the first five years of maintenance cost PLUS lead volunteer projects, this is a win-win for the community.
Thanks to all of you who supported the Trails and Open Space Coalition and our Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers. Buffalo Gals provided a fabuous feast, Sovereignty Wines and Bristol Brewing Company donated fine wines and delicious beer. Many of your favorite local restuarants spoiled us with their most delicious desserts. Proceeds support TOSC trail projects as well as the Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers and their fine environmental programs. Many of you had the opportunity to meet Jerri Marr - our special guest for the evening. Thanks to all of you who joined us - see you next year!
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