April 10, 2014

Public Meeting Notice

You are invited to attend a public meeting to discuss the possibility of redeveloping the building that was formerly the Little Market at 749 East Willamette Avenue into a restaurant. The property is zoned R-2 (Two-family Residential) and consists of 4,590 square feet. Representatives of the project and the City Planning & Development Department will attend this meeting. You are encouraged to share this notice with your neighbors.

Meeting date and time: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.

Meeting location: 749 East Willamette Avenue (the former Little Market)

If you have questions contact the following City staff member:

Steve Tuck, Principal Planner phone: 719-385-5366 email: stuck@springsgov.com

Hi neighbors,

Noel Black and Michael Carsten will host a community meeting on April 22nd at 6 pm at the Little Market to talk about it re-opening as a market/restaurant/patio with a neighborhood pub in the basement. Their emphasis would be on local foods. I think this would be just amazing–a singular and singularly lovely spot in our city. I’m so grateful for their vision and energy. The current owners want to know that neighbors want this, so a good show of support is important.

Please pass the word along to anyone you know.

March 30, 2014

Help keep Shooks Run Clean and Beautiful!

We are so fortunate to have a largely natural stream, Shooks Run, flowing through our neighborhood. It provides habitat for birds and wildlife, shady banks for walks and play, a beautiful corridor for travel north and south. Compare that to the concrete-lined ditches that most neighborhoods contend with.

Shooks Run is a treasure and one of our goals at MSRNA is to help care for it. One task is periodic cleanups of trash that accumulates in the creek corridor. You can help us by taking part in:

The Great Shooks Run Cleanup

Saturday April 19 – 10AM to 2PM

Music and refreshments afterwards featuring performances by:

Kopesetik Soul, Mz. May, the Hopeful Heroines, and Chauncey Crandall

Volunteers meet at two locations: Prairie Dog O’Byrne picnic area at 500 East Bijou -OR- North Shooks Run picnic area at 700 N. Franklin

Bring boots, gloves, water and sunscreen. Rain Date is April 26.

March 17, 2014

Everyone Welcome at Neighborhood Meeting

Thursday, April 3

Potluck Dinner at 6:00 followed by MSRNA Meeting at 6:30

Community Prep School gym (at corner of Willamette and Wahsatch)

Potluck dinner: bring a dish to share; bring your own plate, utensils, and coffee mug to help us minimize waste. Coffee and water provided.

Meeting presentations: Tim Mitros, City Engineer, on upcoming Shooks Run stormwater projects plus Curtis Olson on the Blight to Bright program for renovating dilapidated properties. Election of association board members (nominations accepted from floor) and you can pay your MSRNA dues!

Need Math Tutoring or Decadent (but Healthy) Treats?

Thank you to Nicki Rosa for her new business sponsorships of MSRNA. Nicki has two businesses serving the neighborhood:
Total Math Tutoring
Math help to all ages, including upper level and college math.”Bring a Friend Discount” – no extra charge to bring a classmate for joint tutoring. Don’t fall behind! Contact Nicki at 227-1358
LPOD Trail Bars “LIttle Packet of Decadence”
Healthy and hearty trail bars baked right in Middle Shooks Run. Previously sold at The LIttle Market – now available for home purchase. Call Nicki at 227-1358
or email her at nicki@totalmath.net

December 18, 2013

Neighborhood News December 2013

Dear neighbors–

As we review the year in our neighborhood, it’s clear that the actions of individual neighbors, with the support of an active neighborhood association, has accomplished a lot of good things, both large and small—just read further.

Community Prep School has a community service project component to help individuals or neighborhood projects. If you have or know of someone or some area that could use the attention of a group of school kids, please contact our neighbor Carol Cromie. It may be helping someone fix a fence, paint over graffiti, remove weeds, or similar need. You can contact Carol at glassicide@@msn.com.


Have you noticed the new boulder/concrete bench in Shooks Run park? Did you know it was constructed by Concrete Couch and Community Prep School kids with Carol Cromie’s assistance? It’s a cool addition to the park. It’s unique, creative work incorporating boulders and messages. Thanks, Carol, Concrete Couch, and students!

A new bench for Shooks Run Park



There is good news from Parks and Recreation regarding the pedestrian bridge that crosses Shooks Run at Dale Street. After receiving reports of the deteriorating and hazardous condition of the bridge deck, Chris Lieber at P&R did a field check to determine the structural integrity of the bridge and a course of action. The bridge was deemed sound and it is now scheduled for repair in early spring of 2014. Repairs include replacing the decking with new planks that will be wider, heavier, and stronger than the existing deck. While the planks will still run lengthwise, they will fit tightly together and will span the entire length of the bridge to eliminate seams and gaps. The bridge will also be painted later in the spring to protect the structure. Lieber said that Parks and Rec would be open to working with Concrete Couch after completion of the bridge repairs to add their imaginative touches of paint. Our thanks to Chris Lieber for bumping this project several years forward on the Parks and Rec. work schedule.

The footbridge in Shooks Run park



Also in the park, did you know that the neighborhood association, with MSRNA board member Nancy Strong’s assistance, planted new trees in the area between Boulder and Platte? The Hankins family has been regularly watering the trees to give them a good start. Nancy also has a horse chestnut tree available for purchase from the association’s tree program. You have time to think about it and decide by springtime if you have a place for it in your yard.


More about trees in the park—the Shooks Run Agroforestry Project run by neighbor Gary Rapp has been busy planting native trees and shrubs along the creek with the help of Colorado College and UCCS students studying ecological restoration. Fact of life: the creek has cut down (via erosion) through the land so deep that holes must be drilled 15 feet deep in order for tree roots to reach the groundwater table and get established. Trees were deep-planted this year in the area just south of CacheLaPoudre as part of a forest garden. Cottonwoods, boxelder maples, and hackberries will form a canopy for compatible understory plants that produce edible fruit attractive to wildlife.

Young trees newly planted in Shooks Run park




The Sol’s Dairy sign installed in the xeriscape corner at Willamette and El Paso streets now has a small overhang to help protect it from the weather thanks to neighbors Suzanne, Charlie, and Larry. The Sol’s Dairy sign helps remind us of our neighborhood’s history. The sign is actually the gable from the building that housed the dairy on Prospect Street. You will find a history of the dairy at the installation.


New roof for Sol's Dairy sign




And thanks to our neighbors who turned out to help clean up the creek on two occasions this year. Special thanks to neighbors Shari Pichon-Gardner and Daniel Klausmeier, the motivators for the clean-ups. There’s a new article on our website at www.msrna.org that discusses the creek that runs through the neighborhood. Take a look. You can also pay for your 2014 membership on the website.


If you like living in Shooks Run and want to make it a better place to live, take inspiration from the stories above and think about small steps you could take such as having a block party, getting neighbors to join a Nextdoor (see Nextdoor.com) email group, or simply taking cookies to new neighbors and welcome them to the neighborhood.


Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful holiday season and happy new year! Be sure to see the hand-scrafted Christmas display on the 1000 block of Dale Street. After many years, due to John Knull’s passing, this is the last year it will be there. We also say farewell to the Little Market and Deli at the corner of Willamette and Prospect, a neighborhood grocery for over 100 years. Their doors will close for good December 24.


MSRNA Board of Directors: Louise Conner, Nancy Strong, Royal Martin, Dorrie Stewart, Gary Rapp, Elecia Lee, Suzanne Eubank, and Steve Brown.


Written by: Louise Conner, President, Middle Shooks Run Neighborhood Association.

November 19, 2013

Shooks Run, the creek in history and neighborhood

Before the city of Colorado Springs was established in 1871, the small creek that empties into Fountain Creek was given the name Shooks Run after the brothers Peter and Denton Shooks started their ranch in 1865 that included the streams’ juncture and spread north up the creek to present-day Fountain Boulevard.


Shooks Run (the creek) starts (at the north) with natural runoff from the bluffs in Palmer Park (also known as Austin Bluffs) and runs southwest through the oldest (since 1919) city-owned golf course, the Patty Jewett Golf Course. After several floods, some of the drainage from the bluffs was diverted into the concrete-lined drainage project that runs directly west a couple of miles into Monument Creek near Penrose Hospital at the north end of Monument Creek Park.


Starting as not much more than a trickle, the creek makes its way from the golf course 3 miles south to Fountain Creek through one of the oldest parts of Colorado Springs just east of downtown, shaded by trees and crossed by numerous streets of the Middle Shooks Run neighborhood.


Immediately south of the golf course, Shooks Run passes by Taylor Elementary school, then under San Miguel Street, then under Uintah Street. It passes School District 11 administration complex just south of Uintah. In 1885 after heavy downpours in the Austin Bluffs area, floodwaters poured down Shooks Run and took out the chicken coop, barn, and home of the Superintendent of El Paso County Schools, B.A.P. Eaton, and his wife who lived at Wahsatch and Yampa on the northeast edge of the city. Mr. Eaton escaped the water but Mrs Eaton did not. Her body was found in Fountain Creek. The flood destroyed livestock and produce of every farmer and rancher along Shooks Run.


At the south end of School District 11′s buildings, Shooks Run Trail meets up with the creek at Cache LaPoudre Street. The trail was laid in the old Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad right-of-way which generally follows the creek from here south to Pikes Peak Avenue where the Santa Fe passenger station was located (present-day office building). The railroad came to Colorado Springs in 1887 and the last train ran in 1970.


After the creek passes under Cache LaPoudre Street on its way south, it runs through North Shooks Run Park with its picnic facilities and playground. When Willamette Street was built passing over the creek, homes along the street began to be built in the economic boom times of the 1890s when Cripple Creek wealth was felt in Colorado Springs. The wide, grassy medians in Willamette Street were considered parkway.


South of Willamette Street the creek runs through Middle Shooks Run Park with tennis courts and children’s playground. Around 1974, $40 in urban renewal (state and federal) funds were used to demolish, build and rehabilitate homes along Shooks Run and create the parkland that surrounds the creek. This is when the Shooks Run Trail was added.


The trail separates a bit from the creek as Shooks Run passes through a long stretch of culverts under Boulder Street, Palmer High School facilities, and Platte Avenue. It opens out again on the south side of Platte Avenue into Frank Waters Park, John “Prairie Dog” O’Byrne Park and back into Shooks Run Park. Author Frank Waters (“Midas of the Rockies”) and O’Byrne lived in this area, (O’Byrne in the late 1880s and 1890s; Waters grew up here in the early 1900s and attended Columbia Elementary School).


A small side creek that empties into Shooks Run at Kiowa Street is called Little Shooks Run. Completely covered over now, Little Shooks Run ran from the area around Memorial Hospital Central and Boulder Park (at Boulder and Hancock) southwest to empty into Shooks Run. Boulder Park was once a reservoir and the surface creek flooded the immediate neighborhood several times. Drainage work to protect homes and infrastructure was done in the 1930s and 40s.


Shooks Run between Kiowa and Pikes Peak Avenue was the recipient in 2003 of $6 million in Springs Community Improvement Program funds. The creek was uncovered, creek banks were terraced, and a foot bridge across the creek was added. Invasive elm trees have become a problem here and the Shooks Run Agroforestry project has planted native cottonwoods on the terraces as it has in other areas along the creek along with other native or well-adapted plant species.


South of Pikes Peak Avenue, the creek passes through the Hillside Neighborhood with its agricultural past including Sinton Dairy and the Shooks brothers’ ranch where it empties into Fountain Creek south of downtown Colorado Springs.


Through the years since the Shooks brothers, the creek has seen many changes: residential development and resulting water pollution and debris; a railroad built and removed; floods and attempts to control flooding; invasive trees and attempts to restore the natural ecosystem and wildlife (raccoons, foxes, bears, even deer and coyotes); and the construction of parks and trails. What we have now is an important neighborhood asset, one that is enjoyed and treasured every day.

April 28, 2013

Arbor Day 2013

Third graders at Columbia Elementary School once again joined MSRNA in celebrating Colorado Arbor Day this year. The students planted four new trees in Middle Shooks Run Park between Boulder and Platte — two Kentucky Coffee trees, one Tatarian Maple, and one English Oak. Thanks go to the students and to teachers Mr. Lentner and Ms. Michener for their hard work and enthusiasm. And thanks to the Hankins family, who has adopted the trees and will be carrying buckets of water to the trees to ensure their success.

The Columbia Elementary students also participated in the Arbor Day Essay and Art Contest sponsored by the Palmer Tree Coalition. You can see the winning entries at www.palmertreecoalition.org.


Our neighborhood also received 30 new street trees, provided to homeowners by Colorado Springs City Forestry. The trees will be planted in the parkway between the sidewalk and the street. These trees will shade our homes and streets and increase the diversity of our urban forest. They are species adapted to our dry climate and the stresses of the urban environment, including red and bur oak, Kentucky coffee tree, and horse chestnut. If you have space for a street tree, watch for announcements of the 2014 street tree program next winter.

March 28, 2013

Annual Membership Meeting April 30

Neighbors of the Middle Shooks Run area will meet Tuesday, April 30, 6:30pm starting with a potluck supper. Bring your own tableware and food for sharing. Coffee will be provided. Community Prep School gym (corner of Wahsatch & Willamette).

The meeting that follows the potluck will include discussion of possible neighborhood projects, voting on MSRNA Bylaws changes, and election of members to the MSRNA Board of Directors.

Nominations for board members will be accepted at the meeting so if you’ve been thinking about helping the neighborhood as a member of the board, this is your opportunity. If you have questions, please email info@msrna.org.

March 8, 2013

March 2013 Events

Neighborhood Meeting  & City Council Candidate Forum

At the MSRNA meeting March 19, we read and discussed proposed changes to the MSRNA bylaws. One change will extend our association’s boundaries north to Uintah. Members will vote on the change at a general membership meeting on April 30. By resolution the board of directors offers residents in the extended area a year’s free membership in MSRNA so that they can be nominated and elected to the board of directors. The second bylaw change allows the reading of proposed bylaw changes to happen by email.
City Council Candidates Forum

City Council candidates for Districts 3 and 5 attended our Candidates Forum March 19 following the neighborhood association meeting. A large group of Middle Shooks Run neighbors heard candidates answer questions with topics including utilities ownership, fracking, public safety, downtown revitalization and more.
The candidates who fielded questions were:
District 3: Jim Bensberg and Brandy Williams
District 5: Jill Gaebler, Bernie Herpin, and Al Loma

February 18, 2013

Free Neighborhood Street Trees Available

MSRNA encourages homeowners to plant hardy trees to replace the many street trees that we have lost over recent years. City Forestry has 30 trees available to the neighborhood, including bur oak, red oak, catalpa, kentucky coffeetree, swamp white oak, and tatarian maple. These trees are free of charge if you have a suitable space in their “parkway” — the area between the sidewalk and the street. You will be responsible for picking up and planting the trees as well as caring for them.

Grown in arid eastern Oregon, these trees are adapted to our poor soils and dry climate. They are the ideal size for homeowner planting, approximately 6 to 8 feet tall, and have a manageable root-ball. Trees are shipped to Colorado in mid-April as a part of Trees Across Colorado, which provides trees to communities throughout the state (www.coloradotrees.org/programs.php#across).

Homeowners will receive instructions on planting and tree care when they pick their tree up. If you think you have a suitable space, contact City Forestry at 385-6543.

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