Elena Rivera

KRCC News Reporter

Elena Rivera is a reporter for 91.5 KRCC. Previously, she worked for Blue Ridge Public Radio in Asheville, N.C., Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta, Ga., and KBIA in Columbia, Mo.

She has won awards from the Missouri Broadcast Association, Kansas City Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists (Region 7) for her work as a morning newscast host, an arts reporter and a podcast producer.

She is originally from Rochester, N.Y., and graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Photo Courtesy Susan Davies / Trails and Open Space Coalition

Today on Nature's Neighborhood, Susan Davies of the Trails and Open Space Coalition talks about a few ways to venture through Colorado Springs' connected park system.

A panoramic view of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, a white and red building with a large central tower.
Andrea Chalfin / KRCC News

The Downtown Partnership's Art on the Streets program in Colorado Springs starts this Friday with a program engaging with issues of power and public space

A dusky photo of community members holding signs, marching to protest police brutality in downtown Colorado Springs.
Bryan Oller / KRCC News

Monday marks the one-year anniversary of De'Von Bailey's death. Bailey was a Black Colorado Springs teenager who was shot and killed by police.

Two local organizations, Empowerment Solidarity Network and MOVE, have planned a march to remember Bailey and demand justice. 

Panoramic view of blue sky and grasslands, with trees framing the sides.
Courtesy of Susan Davies / Trails and Open Space Coalition

Susan Davies of the Trails and Open Space Coalition has a few ideas about parks to explore around the Pikes Peak Region. This week on Nature's Neighborhood, Davies shares two lesser-known spaces for rest and relaxation that will help you get away from the crowds and enjoy the outdoors.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs City Council has given final approval to an ordinance to form a citizens' accountability advisory committee for police transparency. The second vote on the ordinance passed 8 to 0, with council member Don Knight excused from the meeting. 

Panoramic picture of the Springs Rescue Mission, large building with walls of windows, while folks line up outside to go in.
Courtesy of Springs Rescue Mission

The City of Colorado Springs recently distributed more than $700,000 in grant funding to local organizations focused on issues of homelessness and housing stability.

The city received the money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city's Community Development Division apportioned it among 11 organizations.

Courtesy of Susan Davies / Trails and Open Space Coalition

For wide trails and adventures in the Pikes Peak Region, Susan Davies of the Trails and Open Space Coalition has some suggestions for places to explore.

This week on Nature's Neighborhood, Davies shares a few parks to visit to help avoid overcrowding and maintain social distancing while enjoying the outdoors.

Courtesy of Susan Davies / Trails and Open Space Coalition

For hiking and biking around the Pikes Peak region, Susan Davies of the Trails and Open Space Coalition has some new places to explore.

This week on Nature's Neighborhood, where we highlight some possibly lesser known areas to get outside, Davies shares two spots with views of water and easy walkability.

Bryan Oller / KRCC

Colorado Springs City Council is planning a second vote to form a commission on police accountability in mid-July. The council has held multiple work sessions over the past few weeks to discuss input from community groups on forming the commission.

Hart Van Denburg / CPR News

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has approved a variance for El Paso County that allows for more people in indoor and outdoor businesses.

Courtesy of Pikes Peak Community College

Pikes Peak Community College plans to resume in-person classes in a little less than two months for the fall semester.

The college will continue to offer online opportunities and pilot hybrid in-person and digital classes.

Courtesy of Poetry 719

Poets and writers are adapting to a new reality in quarantine, where writing groups are hosted on Zoom and community open mics have gone virtual. 

KRCC's Elena Rivera spoke with three poets from Poetry 719, a community poetry organization in Colorado Springs, on what creating during a pandemic has looked like for them and how it has changed their work.

Courtesy of Susan Davies / Trails and Open Space Coalition

As parks, trails and nature centers continue to open to the public, local park officials still encourage visitors to avoid crowding popular spaces and continue social distancing. 

This week on Nature's Neighborhood, Susan Davies of the Trails and Open Space Coalition shares two easy trails with scenic views.

Courtesy of Susan Davies / Trails and Open Space Coalition

As people plan summer adventures to enjoy the outdoors, it's important to continue maintaining social distancing guidelines and avoid overcrowded areas.

This week on Nature's Neighborhood, Susan Davies of the Trails and Open Space Coalition shares two shorter hikes with wooded views.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs City Council had its second work session on Tuesday around the formation of a police advisory committee.

Two groups presented proposals on the idea. Both plans called for increased communication, transparency and accountability for the Colorado Springs Police Department. 

Bryan Oller / KRCC News

City Council convenes Tuesday to continue discussions on forming an advisory committee for the Colorado Springs Police Department. Kevin Mitchell is a community organizer and member of the Empowerment Solidarity Network, one of the groups coordinating protest efforts in the city.

Bryan Oller / KRCC News

Protesters gathered on Thursday afternoon outside of City Hall for a funeral procession to remember people in Colorado Springs killed by police. Protesters wore black and brought flowers and photos to carry as they walked through downtown.

Courtesy of Susan Davies/Trails & Open Space Coalition

As the weather heats up, we're wanting to enjoy the outdoors more and more--but we also need to continue following social distancing guidelines and avoid piling up at popular parks.

This week on Nature's Neighborhood, Susan Davies of the Trails and Open Space Coalition talks about two parks that will be a hit with the kids.


Andrea Chalfin / KRCC News

Colorado Springs City Council had a closed meeting Thursday to discuss creating an advisory committee aimed at addressing policing issues in the community. For folks like Samantha Christiansen, it's not nearly enough. She's a board member of the Chinook Center and the Empowerment Solidarity Network, two local organizations involved in coordinating protest efforts. 

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC News

Tuesday marked the first regular city council meeting in Colorado Springs since protests over police brutality began in the city. 

Bryan Oller / KRCC

Protesters across the country have gathered to denounce police brutality and demand action from their representatives. In Colorado Springs, protesters remember George Floyd, but also invoke the names of De'Von Bailey, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Tony McDade and others. 

Courtesy of Susan Davies/Trails and Open Space Coalition

As the weather heats up, we're wanting to enjoy the outdoors more and more--but we also need to maintain social distancing guidelines and avoid piling up at popular parks. This week on Nature's Neighborhood, Susan Davies of the Trails and Open Space Coalition talks about two parks that could not be more different.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers issued a curfew Wednesday, effective immediately, as protests sparked after the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota continue in the city and across the country. The protests around police brutality also invoke the names of De'Von Bailey in Colorado Springs, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Tony McDade in Florida, Nina Pop in Missouri and others.

NPS/Patrick Myers / National Park Service

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve announced a phased opening starting June 3. The park has been closed to visitors since mid-April due to health concerns amid the new coronavirus pandemic. 

CPR News

Protests continue around the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Floyd, an African American man, died while in police custody in Minneapolis. An officer involved has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

A picture of a blue lake with tall trees surrounding it.
Courtesy of Susan Davies / Trails and Open Space Coalition

As the weather heats up, we're wanting to enjoy the outdoors more and more, but we also need to maintain social distancing guidelines and avoid piling up at popular parks.

This week on Nature's Neighborhood, Susan Davies of the Trails and Open Space Coalition shares a place to relax near a pond and a space to see horseback riding skills in person.

A dirt trail surrounded by trees.
Courtesy of Susan Davies / Trails and Open Space Coalition

As the state eases restrictions and summer comes into full view, we're wanting to get outside more and more--but we also need to avoid overcrowding popular spaces and maintain a safe distance from others.

That's why we're introducing a new weekly series called Nature's Neighborhood. Every week, Susan Davies of the Trails and Open Space Coalition will highlight some lesser known parks, trails and walking areas in the Pikes Peak region.

Courtesy of Bent County Public Health

UPDATE--Friday, May 22:

In an update on Friday, May 22, Bent County Public Health Executive Director Omer Tamir said the agency has concluded its investigation.

The individual at the care center tested positive on May 15, and upon a second test on May 18, tested negative.

ANDEW HARNICK / CDC/AP

This post will be updated throughout the week.

Updated: Sun., May 24, 4:30 p.m.

---Latest Data Shows More Than 24,170 Cases Of COVID-19 In Colorado---

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there are more than 21,170 known positive cases of coronavirus in Colorado. This includes both people who have tested positive for the virus and people who have been in contact with those who tested positive and exhibited symptoms.

Courtesy of Joy Armstrong / Inside Out Youth Services/United Court of the Pikes Peak Empire

Due to the new coronavirus, schools across southern Colorado have cancelled end-of-year events like prom and moved graduation services online. One organization in Colorado Springs has shifted their annual prom for LGBTQ youth into the digital space on Saturday, May 16.

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