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:
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 (

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. ( 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.


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.



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.


May 28, 2016

Additional Volunteer Work at MSRNA Xeriscape Garden

Thank you to Cerian Gibbes and her UCCS Urban Ecology class for spreading mulch at the Middle Shooks Run xeriscape garden on May 27, 2016. The class toured Mid Shooks Run Park with Nancy Strong to learn about MSRNA’s tree planting and other on-going ecology-related neighborhood projects.

UCCS Urban Ecology Class

UCCS Urban Ecology Class

UCCS Urban Ecology Class

After the tour, the class spread 15 cubic yards of mulch in the newly weeded garden.

Mulch generously spread

Mulch Generously Spread

A big thanks also goes to Rocky Top Resources for donating the mulch to the project. 

May 24, 2016

MSRNA Xeriscape Garden FlashMob Weeding May 21, 2016

Many, many, dandelions and other invasive weeds met their doom Saturday morning as MSRNA volunteers (Louise Conner, Lynn Sommers, Annette Gentz, Isabelle Stedman, Suzanne Eubank, Sophie Kogut, and Robin Walters) gathered to help beautify the MSRNA xeriscape garden (Willamette and El Paso).

before FlashMob weeding




A truckload of weeds will convert to compost thanks to Rick Villa for hauling them off to Rocky Top.

If you have an idea for our next “flash-mob” weeding, inform Robin Walters ( and she will add it to our list.


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