February 17, 2017

Safer, cleaner waterways & parks

What You Can Do

Contact information: when you have concerns about homeless camps (non-emergency) you can call HOT at 444-7666 to report illegal encampments and discarded debris. Please leave specific location information so problem areas can be identified. From your smart phone, you can send email to cspdhot@ci.colospgs.co.us.

Call 444-7000 for non-emergency concerns: suspicious persons or cars or activity going on. Be patient, CSPD prioritizes calls and will followup.  The police are here to help the community–call as often as you see activity with as much information as possible so the police will see the pattern. Use your phone to take photos. Download the Colorado Springs app:  https:dos//coloraprings.gov/gocosprings to report problems. Click on “Notes – Homeless Issues” for the minutes of the neighborhood meeting:  Notes – Homeless Issues 2-15-17

Our neighborhood association cleans the creek twice a year, removing between 5 and 15 cubic yards of trash each time. You can help by participating in our Spring cleanup on April 22!

Services for the Homeless
Springs Rescue Mission has opened a large shelter facility for homeless people to be open 24-7, 365 days a year. Social services will also be available on-site. It’s unlikely that this facility and other smaller facilities will be full which means that CSPD will be able to enforce the no camping in parks law. When you donate to charities, ask them what their position is on providing affordable housing.
Cleaning Up the Parks
The HOT team works with the city’s Code Enforcement’s Quality of Life team members and Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful to remove trash and abandoned camps. They have already removed tons of debris. It takes time to clean up all the abandoned camps. You can help by reporting locations of camps or debris.
The city’s Water Resources (Stormwater) staffing has increased. They have removed vegetation along the Greenway Trail (Monument Creek and Fountain Creek). They will need more funds for clearing vegetation along the Midland Trail (westside) and Shooks Run Trail in 2017.

January 10, 2017

Keep Shooks Run green: Plant a tree!

MSRNA is pleased to bring in the New Year with our 4th annual neighborhood tree-planting project. Over the past five years we have planted over 90 trees in our neighborhood!

Our Sustainable Tree Fund helps replace trees lost to disease, old age and drought and helps diversify the urban forest shading our streets, yards, and homes with species suited to our climate. MSRNA members like you have helped support the Tree Fund with a portion of your membership dues.

The trees have ball-and-burlap root balls unless noted as “bare-root”. All trees have 1 to 1.5-inch caliper trunk, are 6 to 8 feet tall, and are the perfect size for homeowner planting. Descriptions and photos of each tree variety are available at www.coloradotrees.org/find/.

Our priority is to increase the number of hardy trees planted along our streets, between the sidewalk and the curb (street trees). For this reason, we are offering trees for street planting at half of our cost. Trees for yard planting are offered at cost. Prices are listed below as street tree price / yard tree price. Trees are available first-come, first-served! Very limited quantities!

Medium to Large shade trees:
$30/$60: Bur Oak,    English Oak,   and Kentucky Coffeetree
$25/$50: Glenleven (littleleaf) Linden (bare-root)

Smaller shade trees:
$25/$50: Tatarian Maple ‘Hot Wings’ (bare-root)
(Tree Lilac ‘China Snow’ WAIT LIST)

Interested? The number of trees is limited – the trees are available first-come, first-served. Send an email to info@msrna.org that identifies the tree you want and we will add your name to the tentative buyer list. Full payment for the tree you want reserves your tree. Make check payable to MSRNA; subject line “2017 Tree” and send to: MSRNA Tree Project, c/o Nancy Strong, 420 North Franklin Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903. Please provide the following notes:

  • Your preferred tree variety, with an alternative
  • Your full contact information
  • Whether your tree will be planted along the street or in your yard.

If you think you have space for a street tree, you’ll need to take these additional steps:

Permit deadline is March 30. City Forestry will confirm the planting site after they receive your application.

The trees will arrive mid-April. You’ll receive information about the pick-up date, location, and time. You will be responsible for planting and caring for your new tree which comes with planting and watering instructions.

Questions? Contact us info@msrna.org

November 7, 2016

Crime and Neighborhood Safety

Seems like our close-to-downtown neighborhoods have seen a rash of break-ins and vehicle thefts. Here are some things you can do: watch for suspicious behavior. To know what looks suspicious, know your neighbors and their cars. Call 444 7000 or file an on-line Police report if you have had criminal behavior done to your property.
If there is an imminent threat to you or a neighbor, call 911.
Be a good witness, get a car license number, a physical description of the perpetrator, but do not confront at situation yourself. Use your cell phone camera if you have one.
Start with your own home and personal safety: are car doors locked, home locked, windows locked, security lights with motion detectors? Do you look before you answer your door? With the holiday approaching, talk with your neighbors about packages being delivered; and, would they be willing to hold them if you are not home? The criminal mind does not care about you, they just want your stuff and are opportunists. They do NOT want to be noticed and will avoid areas where there are people around.
More information about Neighborhood Watch can be found at:https://cspd.coloradosprings.gov/content/neighborhood-watch
and there’s a Neighborhood Watch training Nov. 16, Stetson Hills Police Station.

Homeless camping in the parks

Our neighborhood’s Fall Creek Clean-up removed a tremendous amount of trash and abandoned belongings from the creek and adjacent areas. Thanks to two dozen neighbors volunteering their time and the help of Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful! Councilperson Jill Gaebler also helped in the clean-up.

The MSRNA board is concerned about the homeless camping in neighborhood parks and we are trying to work with City staff to remove vegetation and trash, increase police presence, and work on longer-term solutions for homelessness. Until there are more overnight shelter accommodations, the police will not ticket campers in the parks. A neighborhood meeting on homeless issues is currently in the planning stage.

September 26, 2016

The Use of Herbicides in Our Parks

Controversy has arisen recently over the use of two common herbicides to treat weeds in the city parks –glyphosate and 2,4-D. We urge people to utilize sources of information that are based on scientific study. One source is the National Pesticide Information Center (http://npic.orst.edu/index.html).

According to the NPIC, there is no conclusive evidence that glyphosate or 2,4-D causes cancer. The latest scientific studies have led the European Food Safety Agency, UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, and the EPA to conclude that glyphosate is NOT likely to cause cancer in humans. (http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/09/17/494301343/epa-weighs-in-on-glyphosate-says-it-doesnt-cause-cancer?) The important facts to remember are that both glyphosate and 2,4-D have low toxicity, are broken down in the soil by bacteria, and exposure is eliminated by not touching treated vegetation while it is still wet.

Colorado Springs parks are treated for weed control only once or twice a year, as their very limited budget allows. The contractors follow strict procedures that minimize exposure to the public and prevent drift beyond the park; also, they do not spray near Shooks Run Creek. The Parks Department regularly tests new herbicides to find those most effective in our area with the lowest risk to the public and the environment.

  • MSRNA is in favor of continued testing of alternative herbicides to identify the most effective and least harmful treatments
  • MSRNA is working with Parks to provide the MSR neighborhood advance notification when spraying will be done in North and Mid Shooks Run and O’Byrne Parks; signage will be improved
  • MSRNA will continue to work with Parks to create healthy and diverse park habitats within the neighborhood while saving water and other resources and being conscious of budgetary constraints

Fall Cleanup of Shooks Run

A neighborhood tradition–help clean the creek October 22 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Register at John “Prairie Dog” O’Byrne Park (Bijou & Corona) OR at North Shooks Run Park (706 N. Franklin). Please wear gloves, boots or sturdy shoes, bring water. MSRNA provides the trash bags. Kids are welcome if accompanied by an adult. Rain date: October 29.

2016cleanup2

August 12, 2016

Music on the Run September 11

Let’s have another one–Music on the Run scheduled for Sunday, September 11, 2016, from 4:00 to 6:00 with the cool tunes of Lost Luggage, a local group that’s been playing various places around our city this summer. North Shooks Run Park (north of Willamette).

We can’t say thanks enough to our concert sponsors: Janelle Walston of Walston Group Realty and Erin Rhodes of Rhodes Realty.

OutN-1

 

August 2, 2016

Progress on bluegrass conversion in the park

In Shooks Run Park, between Kiowa and Boulder, City Parks has completed work on renovating areas where junipers were removed and modifying irrigation system to accommodate native grass.
Work begins this week on the remaining grass conversion steps:
·         August – Apply two applications of glyphosate 2 weeks apart
·         Late August  – Seed  & first phase of establishment
·         August-October – Establishment
The conversion from bluegrass to native grass means the grass will need less water and less mowing–a more sustainable solution to ground cover in the park.

July 29, 2016

Meeting to discuss proposed closure of Bijou Street

Public Meeting Tuesday, August 2, 2016, 6:00pm
Centennial Plaza Apartments, 516 E Kiowa, Ground floor Multi-Purpose Room

At this meeting organized by MSRNA at the request of residents, neighbors are invited to hear from City staffers/contractors and discuss the proposal to interrupt Bijou Street at the creek.

Envision Shooks Run long-range plans call for Bijou Street closure, removing the bridge/culvert over the creek, putting a pedestrian bridge in its place, installing traffic turnarounds on both sides, and stabilizing the creek banks.

Closing Bijou Street is not a high priority project at this time and no transportation or stormwater funds are currently available or programed for it. The next Envision Shooks Run public meeting will be sometime this fall.

Perfect Music on the Run!

Everything went as planned: a beautiful summer afternoon, a fun bluegrass band, refreshments and great neighbors in a beautiful neighborhood park! Out of Nowhere played on August 7, 2016, in North Shooks Run Park (north of Willamette, south of Cache). 6.19photo.bandWe are very grateful to our amazing sponsors who support this event: Janet Walston of Walston Group Real Estate and Erin Rhodes at Rhodes Realty.

 

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