City of Colorado Springs Regional Parks, Trails and Open Spaces named Leave No Trace Gold Standard Site
There are 16 Colorado Springs parks, trails and open space properties that combined to earn this national recognition for leadership in outdoor stewardship. These properties are Austin Bluffs Open Space, Blodgett Open Space, Bluestem Prairie Open Space, Corral Bluffs Open Space, Garden of the Gods Park, High Chaparral Open Space, Manitou Incline, North Cheyenne Cañon Park, North Slope Recreation Area, Palmer Park, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Sinton Pond Open Space, Sondermann Park, South Slope Recreation Area, Stratton Open Space and Ute Valley Park.
In order to be named a Gold Standard Site, the following criteria must be met:
- Demonstrate successful implementation of Leave No Trace outdoor skills and ethics into management, programming, outreach and education efforts at the site
- Formally train staff and community partners in Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics
- Include Leave No Trace language and messaging on signs at trailheads, visitor centers and campgrounds as well as in pamphlets, maps and other distributed materials for visitors
- Facilitate Leave No Trace interpretive programs including ranger talks, campfire events and trail outings for visitors
Follow the Leave No Trace Seven Principles
The City of Colorado Springs Regional Parks, Trails & Open Space (RPTOS) division is dedicated to promoting and teaching Leave No Trace outdoor ethics to all park visitors. Colorado Springs’ population continues to grow at a rapid pace, along with the community’s passion for outdoor recreation. It is vital that all park users know how to leave as little an impact as possible and encourage those they share the parks with to do the same. Part of RPTOS’ mission is to steward the City’s world class natural resources. This mission goes hand in hand with the Leave No Trace Seven Principles and setting park visitors up for success when they visit or research a property. Providing Leave No Trace stewardship information at trailheads and signage, property websites, and on social media emphasizes the importance of this mission and shows visitors the division’s commitment to sustaining the park system through education. Additionally, interpretive programming and partnerships allow park staff to reach out to youth across the community to get them excited about stewardship and connect them to the natural areas they have the power to protect.
||Plan ahead and prepare. A little preparation goes a long way! Checking the forecast, planning your route, and reviewing the Rules and Regulations will help prepare you for your Regional Parks, Trails & Open Space adventure.|
||Travel on durable surfaces. Stay on designated trails to minimize soil erosion and preserve vegetation. Muddy trails? Hike right through them or stick to the urban trail system during heavy mud conditions.|
||Dispose of waste properly. Please pack out all trash, including bagged dog waste and food items, or place it into trash cans before leaving the park. This keeps our park system healthy and litter free!|
||Leave what you find. Our plains to peaks community is home to a variety of natural and cultural resources. Remember to take pictures of these fun finds and leave them where they are for other park users to discover.|
||Be careful with fire. A little spark can go a long way. Smoking, open fires, and charcoal grills are prohibited in our Regional Parks, Trails & Open Spaces. Help us protect these natural areas from wildfires.|
||Respect wildlife. Observe wildlife from a distance and never approach, feed, or follow them. Human food is unhealthy for all wildlife and feeding them starts bad habits. Keep our critters safe by keeping your snacks to yourself!|
||Be considerate of others. Practice recreational empathy! Be sure the fun you have outdoors does not bother others. Be considerate when passing others on the trail. Keep your pet on a leash to protect it, others visitors, and wildlife.|
© 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.