Westside Briefs:
Annual B&B Holiday Tour Dec. 5

       The Old Town GuestHouse and Holden House will again represent the Westside in the 16th annual Holiday Bed & Breakfast Tour Sunday, Dec. 5. from 1 to 5 p.m.
       On the tour will be a total of eight local inns, plus the Old Colorado City History Center, for which the tour is a major fundraiser.
       Costs are $12 a person in advance and $15 the day of the event. Tour-goers will get refreshments and personal tours at each home (decorated for the occasion), plus there will be a concluding gift drawing at the History Center, 1 S. 24th St.
       Owned and operated by the all-volunteer, nonprofit Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS), the center was built in 1890 as the First Baptist Church of Colorado City by architect Walter Farquhar Douglas, a press release states. It was renovated for the OCCHS in 1997 and now offers a museum, research library and bookstore.
       Tickets are available in advance at the History Center. For more information, call 636-1225.
       Nature Center event
       Bear Creek by Candlelight will be back Friday, Dec. 3 with a new type of attraction - presentations/fundraisers by four entities, including the host Bear Creek Nature Center.
       The public is invited. The free event will be from 5 to 8 p.m. According to center staffer Paula Megorden, the other three partnering entites being promoted during the event will be the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, represented by a quartet that will play through the evening; the Ellicott Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which will display live birds; and the Children's Literacy Center, which will give children on hand a chance to participate in an interactive book.
       Changes in content are not unusual in the history of Bear Creek by Candlelight. In the five years since it started, it has also been a membership-purchase event with live music (2006), cancelled (2007); and a display of nature-oriented art (2008 and 2009). One consistency in the years, which will continue this year, is candle-lit luminaria lining the trails near the Nature Center, at 245 Bear Creek Road.
       For more information, call 520- 6387.
       Free December parking
       In what has become a city tradition, the parking meters will be bagged in Old Colorado City on Saturdays in December before Christmas.
       The dates are Dec. 4, 11 and 18, as approved by City Council at a recent meeting. Downtown meters are included.
       The free parking applies to on-street meter parking only. Enforcement will still occur Monday through Friday.
       The practice goes back to 2003, with the thinking that the loss of meter revenue will be offset by improved sales.
       Red Rock in recycling
       Colorado Springs will soon have public space recycling downtown and in some city parks (including Red Rock Canyon Open Space on the Westside) at no cost to the city or taxpayers.
       According to a press release from Julie Lewis of City Public Communications, the program will be made possible through a partnership with Greener Corners, a public space recycling and environmental organization. Advertisements sold by Greener Corners will be placed on the sides of the recycle bins “to cover the cost of the recycling program and earn some additional revenue for the city,” Smith's release states.
       In all, plans in 2011 call for 225 recycling stations, which will collect recyclables and trash side by side. More stations are to be added in the next two years. Greener Corners will install and maintain the recycling stations, the release continues.
       “We hope to expand to other Westside parks and areas including Old Colorado City as the program grows,” Smith said in a follow-up e-mail. “Hopefully sooner than later, but we can only do so much in the initial launch.”
       Regarding parks in general, trash service will be restored in the 2011 city budget, Lewis' release states. As a result of the tight 2010 budget, such services were cut in most neighborhood parks, leading some people to “adopt” park trash cans.

Westside Pioneer/press releases