Bike to Work Day Breakfast Wed. June 15

Mountain Metropolitan Transit's Metro Rides organizes Bike to Work Day activities each June to encourage bicycling for personal and community health, alternative transportation, recreation and sustainability. This year marks the 18th annual Metro Rides Bike to Work Day and 2011 promises to be a banner year for cycling in the Pikes Peak region. Registration for the free breakfast, 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., at the following locations continues until June 7:

Central/Downtown: Pioneers Museum, 215 South Tejon Street

North-West: Salsa Brava in Rockrimmon

North-East: Salsa Brava in Briargate

East: Chick-fil-A at N. Carefree

Take a bicycle tree tour on Sun. June 5
In celebration of Bike Month and World Environment Day, the City of Colorado Springs is hosting a free tour of Colorado Springs trees via bicycle starting at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 5. The ride is suitable for beginners and will cover about 6 miles. It begins in the Monument Valley Park parking lot (near the Heritage Garden) and concludes a block away at the Cornerstone Arts Center in time for the 5 p.m. World Environment Day celebration at Colorado College. Attendees should bring their own bicycles, helmets weather gear and water. The tour covers parts of the Old North End, Shooks Run and Downtown with visits to several notable trees, some local tree history and the many benefits of trees and urban forests. Click here for more information.
Tejon Street sharrows a reminder to share the road

The City of Colorado Springs has installed (pictured) an initial set of shared lane markings, nicknamed sharrows, on Tejon Street between Cache La Poudre and Willamette. Shared lane markings are legends installed on roadways where bikes and vehicles must share the road, due to a lack of bicycle lanes. The markings do not establish a bike lane or change the law regarding the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists or drivers. The markings are an awareness tool to alert drivers of the possible presence of bicyclists and a reminder of their legal right to be there. They also act as a guide for bicyclists to properly position themselves in a lane (away from the open door zone of parked cars and out of the gutter). Click here for more information on shared lane markings.

Ride your bicycle to summer events and enjoy free bicycle valet
Area cyclists can expect FREE BIKE VALET services at major community events held in the Pikes Peak Region this biking season. Why leave the car at home? You'll avoid parking and traffic delays, stay fit, save gas and not pollute! This innovative service ensures your bicycle is safe and secure so you can enjoy activities without hauling your bicycle through crowds. Use FREE BIKE VALET service at:
Arbor Day a beautiful success
This year's Arbor Day event tried to capitalize on the ability that trees have to increase the beauty of an area by planting trees along a stretch of the mid-land trail in need of a little enhancement. The Arbor Day Celebration took that concept one step further by seeking citizen volunteers to paint over the graffiti-clad columns along the trail at the I-25 underpass just west of America the Beautiful Park. Click here to learn about the species of trees planted and view a slideshow of the paintings. Or, better yet, take a bicycle ride or walk by in person - tree tags will help you identify the tree species.
Go native
Knowing native plants can help you to incorporate them into your landscaping. Native plants have evolved to take advantage of local conditions, which means they can be more drought tolerant, disease resistant and thrive with little care or attention (i.e. less water and fertilizer). It also supports plant biodiversity and may provide local birds, butterflies, bumble bees and bats with food and shelter. The Southeast Chapter of the Colorado Native Plant Society hosts field trips each summer welcoming everyone from botanists to beginners. Their philosophy is that to know native plants, you have to "go where they grow." Participants should bring a lunch, plenty of water, a magnifying glass and rain gear since field trips start in morning and go into the afternoon. Participation is usually limited to 10 to 15 people, so advance registration via SEtrips@gmail.com is required. So, where are they going in our area?
  • Aiken Canyon, a preserve of the Nature Conservancy, south of Colorado Springs on June 4
  • A Grass ID Workshop at Chico Basin Ranch southeast of Fountain on June 11
  • Pikes Peak and Elk Park Knoll on June 18
  • The riparian foothills of Emerald Valley in Cheyenne Canyon on June 25
  • Queen?s Canyon Quarry in Colorado Springs managed by the Colorado Mountain Reclamation Foundation on Aug. 27

For a complete list of 2011 trips, send a request to SETrips@gmail.com. 

Baby food jars for Cheyenne Canon humming birds
Hummingbirds are the unofficial mascot of North Cheyenne Canon Park and the Starsmore Discovery Center. Stop by (the visitor's center is open daily this summer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and within minutes you're sure to see one of these beautifully colored little birds visiting the hummingbird garden. Understandably then, reusing baby food jars to make hummingbird feeders is a favorite craft project of visitors. Their early childhood programs even offer an All About Hummingbirds session every Thursday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ($3 per person). Our littlest young naturalists learn all about the wildlife and hummingbirds that call the Canon home. Call Andrea, (719) 385-6089, for more information about donating baby food jars. Call (719) 385-6086 for  nature program information.

Smart Growth tools to improve economic health
The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) will host a Sustainable Communities Building Blocks presentation on Wed., June 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Room in Penrose Public Library, 20 North Cascade AveRepresentatives from the Environmental Protection Agency will provide information on how smart growth tools can improve the fiscal and economic health of communities. The event is free and the public is welcome. Contact PPACG (swhite@ppacg.org or (719) 471-7080, ext 140) to preregister for the event. The presentation is funded in part by a technical assistance grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.
LED streetlight demonstration allows side-by-side comparison
If you've been wondering why there's so much talk about LED streetlights, a side-to-side comparison with older technology may help you "see the light."  The City of Colorado Springs has installed seven light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights in a parking lot used by visitors to the Memorial Park Skateboard Park and Sertich Ice Center. This photo shows the LED streetlights on the left and traditional streetlights on the right. LED lights have been shown to use up to 50 percent less energy while lasting 10 times longer than traditional streetlights. A grant-funded LED streetlight pilot program is allowing for the retrofit of 430 streetlights throughout the community.  Recently, nearly 300 streetlights along larger roads were retrofitted with LED technology. Now, the pilot LED retrofit program is moving into residential neighborhoods. In addition to the demonstration area, the City is using its social media avenues to conduct drawings to designate locations of 130 residential streetlights to be retrofitted with LED fixtures. The City conducted its first drawing of 20 winners from among individuals who logged comments on Facebook. The next drawing will take place from among those who follow the City on twitter. Additional drawings will take place throughout the summer using social media outlets and at public events.
Colorado Springs Utilites looking at how we get our electricity
Colorado Springs Utilities has asked the City the share with you an opportunity to provide feedback on their Electric Integrated Resource Plan. The Electric Integrated Resource Plan, or EIRP, is a long-term strategic plan designed to ensure customers have reliable electricity at a reasonable price. What energy sources should our community consider? How much should come from renewable sources? How much should we reduce our need for energy through efficiency and conservation? They have a brief survey for you to fill out, which takes only a few minutes. Click here for more information on the EIRP.

City puts first hybrid truck on pothole repairs
A tight City budget has not allowed for much equipment replacement in recent years. Yet, a recent vehicle investment is a lot greener than the older equipment in terms of technology and costs. It's a diesel electric hybrid truck with improved fuel efficiency (30 percent to 40 percent) and reduced engine emissions. Diesel emissions are completely eliminated when the hybrid truck operates equipment solely on the truck's battery power instead of allowing the engine to idle. Crews are using the truck to perform pothole repairs, which can be reported to the City by calling 385-ROAD, e-mailing streetdivision@springsgov.com, submitting a request online or downloading an app for your I-Phone.
Green Bag Lunch-n-Learn: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo?s efforts to save native endangered species such as the black-footed ferret
The fight to save species can go on in our own backyards. On Thurs. June 23, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo staff will present a City sponsored Green Bag Lunch-n-Learn on local wildlife preservation. They?ll cover what individuals and communities can do to provide habitat for the continued existence of native wildlife species. In addition, they'll cover their own efforts to save indigenous endangered species, such as the black-footed ferret recovery program. The only ferret native to North America, the black-footed ferret once thrived across grass prairies from Canada to Mexico. Yet, today it is one of the most endangered mammals in North America. The program presenters hope to bring a live ferret. The lunch-n-learn runs over the noon lunch hour, from 12:11 to 12:49 p.m. This month the event will be held in the standard location, the City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada Ave., in Suite 102. Attendees are encouraged to bring and enjoy their lunches during the presentation. Those who come have the opportunity to win a door prize tote bag made from recycled City banners. Each month, the City Green Team sponsors a lunch-n-learn topic on environmental issues. Click here for more information.
Going Greener - Upcoming events:
Sun. June 5 ? World Environment Day at Colorado College
Sat. June 11 - Kids on Trails Bike Safety Clinic in Cheyenne Canon
Sat./Sun. June 11 ? Starlight Spectacular
Wed. June 15 ? Bike to Work Day
Wed. June 15 - Canon Teen Extreme (Summit Survival/Mountaineering)
Sat. & Sun. June 18 & 19 - Springs Spree Bike Valet 
Wed. June 22 - Canon Teen Extreme (Rock Climbing)
Thurs. June 23 - Garden of the Gods 9 a.m. Wildflower Walk
Sat. June 25 - Garden of the Gods 9 a.m. Wildflower Walk 
Sun. June 26 - Garden of the Gods 11:30 a.m. Honey Ant Presentation
Wed. June 29 - Canon Teen Extreme (Llama Trekking)

Environmental Sustainability E-Newsletter from the City of Colorado Springs

Question? (719) 385-CSGN (2746) or cmccausland@springsgov.com. 
This e-newsletter funded by the State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs and City of Colorado Springs.