FOTP May 2016 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER

MAY 2016

President's Corner
 
   Summer time is here! Well, almost.  All the rain is still putting a damper on getting out and enjoying the trails.  It almost makes you long for February, when the weather was warm and dry.
   But we can't ever complain about rain around here.  Keeping the forests green and resistant to fire makes it all worth it.  The trails will dry out soon enough, so in the meantime let's try to stay off the trails that get muddy when wet and remember to step thru or over the puddles, not around them.  We want the trails to stay narrow.
   Friends of the Peak has been busy getting ready for another season of trail building, advocacy, and outdoor stewardship.  We deliver crew leader training, Leave No Trace training, lobby for improved trail systems, and assist with other stewardship activities like noxious weed removal.  If these are activities that you feel are worthwhile then please help us maintain and improve the Pikes Peak area.  Come out for one of our trail projects, or maybe volunteer to help organize a project, put on an event, help tell others about our mission.  There are lots of ways to contribute and you don't always have to get dirty to help.
  See you on the trails.
                          Paul Mead
                          President, Friends of the Peak
Crew Leaders Are Awesome
  There is nothing like a well-qualified and enthusiastic crew leader to make a workday productive and enjoyable.  Friends of the Peak, partnering with the Trails and Open Space Coalition, Rocky Mountain Field Institute and the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department delivered another successful crew leading class for the Pikes Peak region last month.  We are building a solid base of crew leading expertise in the area with yet another great class of future leaders ready to lead trail crews.  It is great to see so many people who are interested in stepping up and leading trail projects.  In addition to the classroom training, the students have to complete two days of mentorship before being certified as official crew leaders, then they will be ready to guide groups of volunteers.  We look forward to having their help on future projects, whether it is with Friends of the Peak or other groups in the Pikes Peak area.
  Do you enjoy hanging out with people doing trail work?  Maybe crew leading is for you.  Crew leader training is delivered each year, but it does have a prerequisite of having worked multiple days as a volunteer.  If you think you might be interested in leading a trail crew, then get out and learn as much about trail construction and maintenance as you can this year and then watch for the announcement for the next class.  We usually announce the date in the spring.
Watch Alex Talk About FOTP
Our own Alex Sullivan was featured on SOCO CW's Java With Jillian program last month.  Watch him explain our mission while not spilling a drop by clicking here.
Ring the Peak

   This has been quite a year for our Ring the Peak project.  Governor Hickenlooper and Mayor Suthers both gave shout-outs for our project at the El Pomar Heritage Series event held on May 13th.  We have gained support from lots of different groups and there is clearly momentum behind completing this long-standing goal of Friends of the Peak.  Everyone recognizes the need to provide more ways to get Coloradans outdoors where they can improve their health and enjoy the beautiful country that attracted so many of us to Colorado.
  Completing the Ring will provide a wonderful recreation opportunity for people who simply want to day-hike a part of the region that was not accessible before, or would like to do a multi-day backpack or mountain biking trip without having to travel for hours to other parts of the state.  Long loop trails have an appeal that draws people to them.  There is something about encountering something new with every mile that makes a loop more interesting than the typical out-and-back.  The Tour du Mont Blanc, the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier, or the White Rim trail outside of Moab are all renowned loops that are on the bucket-list of many people.  The Ring the Peak trail could be one of those trails.
   Pikes Peak is already known for iconic athletic events like the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon.  At an expected length of around 100 kilometers, the Ring the Peak trail would provide the opportunity to create an ultra-running contest that will surely draw people from all over the world.  Since the trail would be a loop, the trail could be staged from many different locations around Pikes Peak.  For example, one year it could be hosted by the City of Victor, and another year Woodland Park could host the event.
   The biggest obstacle in finishing the route on the southwest side of the peak is the same problem we have been wrestling with for years: Where can we put the trail? Friends of the Peak, along with our partners, the Trails and Open Space Coalition and the Palmer Land Trust, have been meeting with the landholders and stakeholders on the southwest side of Pikes Peak to see if we can find a route that protects the value of their lands while still providing a satisfying experience for people who want to enjoy the beautiful area.  The communities of Victor and Cripple Creek are evaluating various options and we hope to have feedback from them soon.  While we would love to get going on a trail that traverses the area we have to remember that most of us are visitors in their home, so any access has to be done in a way that respects their property and privacy.  We are optimistic that a creative solution can be found that will satisfy the needs of the local landholders and complete an iconic recreation destination.
Upcoming Projects
 
  Friends of the Peak will be focusing on the Barr and St. Mary's trails over the next few weeks.  Take a look at your calendar and, if you have some days that you can spare, come out and help us improve those popular trails.  If swinging tools doesn't appeal to you then maybe you can help us control invasive weeds in Garden of the Gods. 
  Our calendar is at http://www.fotp.com/7-events/  Click on over and see if there are any projects that interest you.
Contact us:
Phone: 719-650-9429      Email: info@fotp.com     Web: http://www.fotp.com

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