2. Bear Creek Regional Park Dog Park / Memorial ProjectEl Paso County Parks, the Dog Park Advisory Committee and the Friends of Beer Creek Dog Park have initiated the development of a Dog Park Memorial at the Bear Creek Dog Park. $25,000 was raised to support the construction of the memorial. The memorial will allow citizens to memorialize their pet and generate needed operational funds for the dog park through the sale of memorial plaques.
3. County Fairgrounds Grandstands Accessibility Improvements Project The County Fairgrounds Grandstands Accessibility Improvements project involves the construction of a new seating area in front of the existing grandstands, to serve the disabled population and to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. The project will provide ADA-compatible seating for people in wheelchairs, along with the requisite associated companion seating. The project cost is estimated at $144,960 which is provided by a Community Development Block Grant for $139,960 and $5,000 match from the Fair Corporation.
4. Pineries Open Space ProjectEl Paso County Parks will begin implementation of the first phase of improvements identified in the Pineries Open Space Master Plan that include approximately 8 miles of trail (4.2 miles of primary regional trail and 3.8 miles of single-track trail), main trailhead with separate equestrian and hike/bike parking areas, fencing, restroom, outdoor classroom and corral. The improvements are contingent upon completing forestry work needed to address burned trees that is planned for early 2015. The total cost of the first phase improvements is estimated at $600,000. It is proposed to use $200,000 from regional park fees, $200,000 from 1A funds, FEMA funding, and insurance funds.
5. Rainbow Falls Recreation Area Improvements Surface Transportation Improvement Program Transportation Enhancement Funds were secured through the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) in the amount of $308,000 for access and park improvements at Rainbow Falls Recreation Area. These funds were matched with $72,000 of regional park fees and $5,000 in third party support for a total project budget of $385,000. The design process will be completed in early 2015, with construction to commence shortly thereafter.
6. Hanson / Maxwell Street Trailhead ImprovementsThe Hanson Trailhead and Maxwell Street Trailhead were severely damaged during the September 2013 flood event. FEMA, State and local funds are being used to repair the Hanson Trailhead pedestrian bridge, reconstruct 1,000 feet of regional trail, complete creek bank stabilization and finish debris removal. FEMA funds will be used to repair embankments and other structures to reduce the risk of future flood damage. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has expressed interest in funding a more robust project in 2015-2016 at Maxwell Street. Trail repairs will be completed in the Carson Boulevard Bridge area, and County Parks is working with the City of Colorado Springs, City of Fountain and a stakeholders group on a cost-sharing arrangement to repair the bridge.
7. Bear Creek Regional Park Pavilion Roof ReplacementThe pavilions in Bear Creek Regional Park have wooden shake shingles that were originally installed in the 1970’s. The shingles have exceeded their life expectancy and are falling into disrepair due to weather damage. The shake shingles are also susceptible to fire. Parks will initiate the replacement of the shake shingles with metal roofing that has been successfully used at both Fox Run and Black Forest Regional Park pavilions.
8. Fox Run Regional Park ImprovementsCounty Parks continues to implement recommendations from the Fox Run Regional Park Master Plan update that was completed in 2007. The 2015 improvements include upgrading the Oak and Pine Meadows restrooms including roof replacement, Clivus upgrades, plumbing and fixture upgrades.
9. Falcon Regional Park DevelopmentCounty Parks completed a Park Lands Agreement with Meridian Ranch developers to convey approximately 215 acres to be used to establish the Falcon Regional Park. The park site is adjacent to Eastonville Road, north of the Falcon High School. The master plan for the park is currently being developed. The proposed construction budget for Phase 1 includes $250,000 in regional park fees, $250,000 in 1A funds, $100,000 in partnership funds, and $350,000 in potential grants for a total budget of $950,000. It is anticipated that construction will begin in the fall of 2015.
10. Rock Island Regional Trail Improvements County Parks received a State Trails Grant to improve several multi-use trail segments in order to complete missing pedestrian links within the Falcon Town Center area. Working in collaboration with the EPC Public Services Department to implement transportation improvements in the area, the project will provide ADA-compliant, accessible pedestrian connections from the Rock Island Regional Trail to existing trails and bicycle lanes, including the Woodmen Road bicycle lane, Meridian Road bicycle lane, and Woodmen Hills Trail, and to the local library.
11. Black Forest Regional Park ImprovementsThe trails within Black Forest Regional Park sustained significant damages from the Black Forest Fire and post-fire flooding. Several sections were damaged beyond repair, are now flood-prone, or traverse through severely charred areas within the Park. Staff will complete a trail inventory to identify sections of trail for repair, re-route and/or closure. Additional forest management, flood-mitigation and soil stabilization efforts will be planned to mitigate future flooding impacts to the trails and active use area. Additionally, trail signage and way finding will be updated to reflect any re-routes and incorporate the trails within Cathedral Pines. $200,000 from 1A funds are available for the project.
12. Homestead Ranch Regional Park Trail Improvements Homestead Ranch Regional Park trails are in need of drainage improvements, surfacing material and updated signage. Staff will assess the trails and complete improvements as needed. An updated park sign and way finding package will also be developed and installed within the Park.
13. Ceresa Park Improvements The John Ceresa Memorial Park serves as a neighborhood park located north of Willow Springs Ponds. The 13 acre park has a natural grass area with trees, restroom, playground, picnic tables, barbeque grills, and trails. The proposed improvements include tree maintenance, plantings, parking lot improvements, and restroom upgrade.
14. New Santa Fe Trail ImprovementsThe County contracted with Tapis and Associates to complete an assessment of the New Santa Fe Trail through the Air Force Academy in 2014. The assessment identified risk management issues and proposed trail user satisfaction improvements
1. Fountain Creek Regional Park / Master Plan UpdateStaff will update the master plan for Fountain Creek Regional Park. With recent improvements at the Fountain Creek Nature Center and at Clear Spring Ranch, interest has increased in other potential improvements along the Fountain Creek corridor. Flooding in 2013 made the need for additional planning an even higher priority. The process will include the analysis of the current use of the park and assess needs, provide opportunities for stakeholder involvement, and result in a plan to guide future improvements to the park.
2. Ute Pass Regional Trail Master PlanStaff will coordinate a planning process with significant stakeholder involvement to develop a master plan for the next phase of the Ute Pass Regional Trail which will include the preferred trail alignment and trailhead location(s) from Longs Ranch Road to the Ute Pass Elementary School in Chipita Park. This process will identify and evaluate physical, financial and political constraints and opportunities and develop a conceptual alignment for the final phase of the trail, thus completing a regional trail connection to all communities along Ute Pass. A State Trails Grant will provide the majority of the needed funding.
3. Falcon Regional Park Master PlanThe master planning process initiated in 2014 will be completed for Falcon Regional Park by March of 2015. See project description under item #16 below. The Falcon Regional Park Master Plan will provide the basis for a spring, 2015 GOCO grant application to construct the first phase, scheduled to begin fall of 2015. 4. County Fairgrounds Master Plan Update It is proposed to update the County Fairgrounds master plan to guide needed facility upgrades and enhancements. Funding for the improvements will be provided by 1A funds, payments received from the Eastern Plains windpower project, regional park fees, grant opportunities and fundraising efforts. Upon the successful completion of the master plan update and the fundraising drive, the improvements are scheduled to be completed in 2016.
5. Regional Non-Motorized Transportation Plan Planning staff will continue to participate in the update of the Regional Non-Motorized Transportation Plan sponsored by the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments with the City of Colorado Springs and City of Woodland Park as partners. The effort focuses on identifying and prioritizing regional connections and development of consistent standards across jurisdictions. Staff will also continue to participate in the Regional Trails Working Group coordinated by Fort Carson that focuses on trail planning and implementation and participate in the City of Colorado Springs Trails Team planning and coordination meetings.
6. Cultural Resources Data BasePlanning staff will continue to develop elements of a Cultural Resources Data Base. The next steps include an inventory of culturally modified trees in Black Forest parks and along the Ute Pass Regional Trail in 2015.
7. Bear Creek Regional Park / Equestrian Skills Course A conceptual layout for an Equestrian Skills Course was included in the Bear Creek Regional Park Master Plan in 2014. Equestrian groups will work to secure funding and resources to implement the plan, and staff will support this effort.
1. Elephant Rock Open Space ProjectElephant Rock Open Space, a 63-acre parcel with a conservation easement held by Palmer Land Trust, has been offered for purchase to the County for open space and recreation purposes. The property is within the Palmer Lake Town limits, immediately adjacent to the New Santa Fe Regional Trail and the parcel where Elephant Rock is located has beautiful views from a number of vantage points. Funding options are currently being explored.
2. Wedgewood Farms Open Space Project County Parks has explored the potential purchase of the Wedgewood Farms property, a 63 acre parcel located adjacent to Clear Spring Ranch (owned by the City of Colorado Springs and managed by El Paso County for recreation) south of the City of Fountain. The site is unique with riparian habitat along Fountain Creek, ponds, and scenic views that will provide the opportunity for trails, fishing and other passive recreation. Great Outdoors Colorado has approved a $512,250 grant to support the purchase of the property. The City of Colorado Springs (TOPS) and the Fountain Creek Watershed, Flood Control and Greenway District have also pledged $25,000 each. Finally, $100,000 of 1A funds is also committed for the purchase.
3. Jones Park Project The City of Colorado Springs desires to divest ownership of Jones Park as the site no longer has operational value for Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU). The 1,191 acre site is located within the Pike National Forest with 731 acres in El Paso County and 460 acres in Teller County. The City Council will consider and / or approve a resolution and conveyance documents in January, 2015 to transfer Jones Park to El Paso County. A National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) study is being completed to address erosion and sedimentation issues in Bear Creek and the impact on the federally threatened greenback, cutthroat trout. It is anticipated that the Jones Park trail system will be modified to address these issues. The City has obtained a $250,000 grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board for trail and erosion control improvements. The County will request that these funds be transferred to the County which will be matched with $200,000 of 1A funds. It is anticipated the trail system work will begin in the summer, 2015.