There’s a lot of fanfare around grant awards, but what happens after the ceremonial checks are presented and the reporters have published their articles? Our partners get down to business.
For 25 years, GOCO has improved Colorado’s great outdoors with the help of Colorado Lottery profits. We’ve put more than $1 billion in proceeds back into 5,000 projects to improve the lives of Coloradans across the state.
After projects are awarded funding, grant recipients have about two years to make their projects happen. In December, 26 projects crossed the finish line, representing $11.5 million invested in communities across the state. Scroll to see if one’s near you:
Acquire High Priority Habitat - Collins Mountain Ranch SWA
$800,000 GOCO grant to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW)
GOCO funded a conservation easement for CPW to help protect over 2,000 acres of the Collins Mountain Ranch in Rio Blanco County. The property provides habitat for several species of wildlife, including greater sage-grouse, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, and big-game species, as well as hay fields and pastureland for livestock. Curious about conservation easements? Read more about them here >>
Acquire High Priority Habitat - Land Acquisitions and Improvements - Slater Lake Ranch
$900,000 GOCO grant to CPW
CPW also invested GOCO funding in conserving 4,440 acres of land at Slater Lake Ranch in western Routt County. The property includes habitat for the grouse population and two species of special concern, the sandhill crane and the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, as well as shrublands, forests, and ponds supporting several big-game species.
Alisha Adkins Memorial 4-H Park Playground Update
$18,000 GOCO grant to Jackson County
GOCO awarded a local government grant to Jackson County, which partnered with the local 4-H club to replace an old wooden playground with safer, updated equipment and surfacing at Alisha Adkins Memorial Park. Read more about how we fund parks and who can apply >>
Berrien - Staunton State Park - Land Acquisitions
$129,500 GOCO grant to CPW
CPW used its GOCO grant to purchase a 160-acre piece of land adjacent to Staunton State Park known as the Berrien parcel. The property is surrounded by Pike National Forest and will eventually be open to the public for recreation opportunities.
Education Center and Montbello Open Space Master Site Plan
$75,000 GOCO grant to the City and County of Denver
The City and County of Denver’s Parks & Rec department partnered with Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) and the Trust for Public Land to develop a plan for the construction of an environmental education center in Montbello, a neighborhood in the northeastern section of Denver that is also benefitting from a GOCO Inspire Initiative grant. The space will provide at-risk youth and their families with the opportunity to learn about and connect with science and nature. Learn more about GOCO’s Inspire Initiative and its recipients >>
Enhance Habitat on Lands and Water
$525,000 GOCO grant to CPW
This grant assisted CPW in improving habitat on private lands, funded water quality monitoring as part of the organization’s RiverWatch program, and helped CPW manage its water rights, among other things.
Fresh Air Friday 2016
$25,000 GOCO grant to CPW
This GOCO funding helped CPW keep all 41 of its Colorado state parks open and free to the public on Black Friday, a day that is usually filled with shopping and other indoor activities. Opening the parks at no cost encouraged people to spend the day outside with their families. Find out more about the Fresh Air Friday program on CPW’s site >>
GOCO Inspire Planning Grant
$50,000 GOCO grant to the City of Pueblo
This Inspire Initiative grant helped the City of Pueblo collaborate with community-based organizations including the Pueblo Zoo, the Nature and Raptor Center of Pueblo, and the Mountain Park Environmental Center, and develop a plan around their common mission of educating children and their families about wildlife and the outdoors. The coalition aimed to make the streets of Pueblo safer for kids and to improve access to the outdoors for all Pueblo residents.
Inspire Larimer County
$50,000 GOCO grant to Larimer County
Larimer County and a collective of partners used GOCO funding to identify barriers to connecting kids with nature. The group created new partnerships among community-based organizations, with the local branch of the Boys and Girls Club serving as the coalition’s hub, and generated a plan for addressing the issue of kids and their families spending less time outdoors.
Invasive and Noxious Weed Management
$400,000 GOCO grant to CPW
CPW will use GOCO funding to treat harmful and invasive weeds with a variety of techniques, including weed mapping, revegetation, and restoration. The organizations works closely with Colorado State Forest Service and local governments to determine needs and develop effective management strategies.
Kit Carson County Fairgrounds Enhancement Project
$43,799.87 GOCO grant to Kit Carson County
Leveraging GOCO funding, Kit Carson County updated many facilities at its fairgrounds, including restrooms, sidewalks, and electrical equipment. The grounds serve as a site for many local events, and the improvements were welcomed by the community.
Lathrop State Park Swim Beach Redevelopment
$651,464 GOCO grant to CPW
CPW used its GOCO grant to update the swim beach area at Lathrop State Park, which had not seen improvements since the 1960s. Upgrades included repaired sidewalks, expanded parking, shade structures, a new irrigation system, and a new playground. Ready to take a trip? Visit Lathrop State Park >>
Lazy V Quarter Circle Phase II
$256,962 GOCO grant to CPW
A conservation easement helped protect 320 acres in Garfield County. This easement served as an amendment to a 2014 easement also covering 320 acres of land, bringing the total acreage to 640. The property is home to moose, mule deer, and elk, as well as species of concern like the northern leopard frog and northern pygmy owl. Read about what exactly a conservation easement is here >>
Montezuma Inspire Coalition - Leave No Kid Inside!
$71,494.97 GOCO grant to Montezuma Land Conservancy
GOCO awarded a planning grant to Montezuma Land Conservancy and a coalition of partners called the Montezuma Inspire Coalition, working to identify and break down barriers between Montezuma County’s underserved youth and the outdoors. Their goal is to leave no kid inside, and this grant helped the group develop a plan centered around empowering outdoor programs for youth of various ages. Read more about the impact of this program >>
Native Species Protection
$3,290,000 GOCO grant to CPW
This grant awarded to CPW helps protect native species across the state. Some species of concern, such as the Gunnison sage grouse, Lesser prairie chicken, prairie dogs, and Cutthroat trout benefit from the work.
Pagosa Skyrocket State Natural Area
$245,959 GOCO grant to CPW
This grant helped CPW to purchase an 88-acre parcel of land known as the Pagosa Skyrocket State Natural Area, which contains 90% of the world’s population of the Pagosa skyrocket phlox flower. The flower was listed as an endangered species in 2011, and the land acquisition allows CPW to protect the property. Learn more about the Pagosa skyrocket flower >>
Raffety Park Development
$335,000 GOCO grant to the Town of Granby
With this GOCO grant, the Town of Granby made updates to Raffety Park, which previously contained only two tennis courts and a soccer dome. Improvements include a new playground, an outdoor education classroom, picnic areas, and updated landscaping and infrastructure. The park sits adjacent to East Grand Middle School and Indian Peaks Charter School and serves as a play area for students from both.
Sheridan Colorado Inspire Initiative
$60,000 GOCO grant to the City of Sheridan
The City of Sheridan is nestled in the Bear Creek Watershed, which lies between Mount Evans and the South Platte River. Yet, children living in the community have few opportunities to get outside. City officials and a coalition of partners used this planning grant to identify physical, economic, and cultural barriers to the outdoors and generate community-specific ideas for breaking those barriers down.
Staunton - Davis Dams Recreational Improvement
$21,895 GOCO grant to CPW
This grant helped CPW construct facilities for fishing at Davis Ponds located in Staunton State Park. The new facilities include a designated trail, piers for easy access, and picnic areas. CPW focused on constructing all project components with the surrounding natural resources in mind, and the new trail discourages visitors from stepping into protected areas. Plan your trip to Staunton State Park >>
The Nature Connection
$75,000 GOCO grant to Delta County
This planning grant for Delta County and its coalition of partners called The Nature Connection helped the community devise ways to integrate outdoor experiences into K12 education, benefitting more area youth. The group sought student and teacher input to build the plan for new outdoor experiences. Check out The Nature Connection’s website >>
Washburn II - Acquire High Priority Habitat - Capital
$239,191.37 GOCO grant to CPW
This CPW grant helped the organization expand upon a previous conservation easement, bringing the total of protected land on the Washburn Ranch in Dolores and San Miguel Counties to more than 3,000 acres. The property provides habitat for Gunnison sage-grouse, an endangered species, as well as big game such as elk, mule deer, and black bears.
Water Program Operations
$150,000 GOCO grant to CPW
This grant helps fund CPW’s water resource management, including decision-making about water rights, developing stream and river operations, and protecting groundwater assets.
WRV 2013-2015 Trail Volunteer Leader Capacity
$45,000 GOCO grant to CPW
This grant helped expand CPW’s Wildlands Restoration Volunteers program, which trains outdoor volunteers in leadership and trail-building skills. With these funds, the program was able to recruit 800 new volunteers and give specialized training to 180 new leaders. Learn more about the Wildlands Restoration Volunteers >>
WRV 2014 Partnership for Stewardship
$45,000 GOCO grant to CPW
This funding also benefitted CPW’s Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, more specifically with three trail projects: the Brainard Waldrop Trail, the Fallon Park Trails, and the Anemone Hill Trails. CPW was able to restore 9,100 feet of trail; put up 1,800 feet of fencing; and conserve 9.3 acres of wildlife habitat.
$1,790,000 GOCO grant to CPW
With this GOCO grant, CPW placed a conservation easement on the 3,672-acre Yarmony Ranch in Jackson County. The property provides habitat for big-game species, as well as endangered species like the river otter and greater sage-grouse. Two bodies of water bisect the land, the Illinois River and Deer Creek, and their shorelines serve as habitat for several species of bird and waterfowl.
$697,000 GOCO grant to The Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund acquired a conservation easement to protect 2,570 acres of the Yust Ranch, located just outside Kremmling in Grand County. The property has been owned by the Yust family since 1884 and is surrounded by public land managed under Colorado’s Bureau of Land Management. The property is home to some of the largest big-game herds in the state as well as greater sage-grouse.