COLORADO SPRINGS — A new and direct, boots-on-the-ground plan is aimed at increasing the number of people following Leave No Trace principles and trail etiquette rules in the Pikes Peak Region. The Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC) is launching an Open Space Trail Ambassador program.
The volunteer ambassadors are a solution-oriented response to the year after a year record number of users flocking to Colorado public lands. "Numbers have increased this summer on top of those gains,” said TOSC Program Coordinator, Aaron Rogers.
"They're that friendly face. That first person, that first positive contact you have, they're not there to be park rangers or police officers, they're not there to enforce the rules, they're just there to give advice," said Rogers.
The advice is about courtesy toward the land and other people sharing the open space. “How to interact with others on the trails, and how to like, pick up dog poop before it becomes a problem,” said Rogers, “How to share when there's a mountain bike going by.”
For the launch, the ambassadors are starting in a half dozen of the most popular open spaces in and near Colorado Springs. More volunteers are welcome to join the effort. Training sessions will be happening through the summer. Contact TOSC for information.