COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – On Sunday, Oct. 7 – one month from today – the City of Colorado Springs’ Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department will host a Motorless Morning in Garden of the Gods Park. The special event will eliminate motor vehicle access within the park from 5 a.m.-noon. The second Motorless Morning in Garden of the Gods, it follows a successful inaugural event held on Earth Day, April 22, 2018.
During the event, visitors will be encouraged to park their vehicles at the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center (1805 N 30th Street), Garden of the Gods Trading Post (324 Beckers Lane, Manitou Springs) or in the temporary parking lot at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site (corner of N 30th Street and Gateway Road). As always, the park will remain free and open to the public, and all park rules and regulations will apply. At noon, the park will reopen to motor vehicles.
“Following the garden’s first Motorless Morning this spring, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community,” said Kim King, parks administration manager. “That first event was a great way for us to test this concept, which we’re now extending by two hours so visitors have more time post-sunrise to experience the park in this unique way. We are interested to see if this event is received as well in the fall as it was in the spring and will continue to gather data on how people are using the park during the event.”
Access to the park is being provided for all visitors via accessible routes into and throughout the park, including designated parking for persons with disabilities. The use of other power-driven mobility devices (OPDMD), which includes electric assist bicycles, will be allowed. There will also be a free public shuttle looping from the temporary parking lot at Rock Ledge Ranch to the intersection of Gateway Road and Juniper Way Loop, to provide easy access to the central garden area. The shuttle will be available throughout the duration of the event. Bikes and pets are not permitted on the shuttle.
There will also be several activities available in the central garden area, including interpretive stations and nature walks hosted by the Visitor and Nature Center. Additional activities are being discussed, and a full list will be available at coloradosprings.gov/motorlessmorning prior to the event.
Motorless Morning was conceptualized from a transportation study designed to enhance the visitor experience and protect the natural elements of Garden of the Gods Park. The parks department hired Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to conduct the study, which was funded by the Garden of the Gods Foundation. The parks department estimates that 5.8 million people visited Garden of the Gods Park in 2017. Visit ColoradoSprings.gov/GOGTransportationStudy for more information on the study.