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Protect Initiative Grants

As part of its Protect Initiative, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) is pleased to announce plans to fund once-in-a-lifetime, large conservation projects. The GOCO Board has approved investing up to $47 million in these projects over fiscal years 2016 through 2019. Grants will be awarded each June as necessary starting in 2017; the first awards were made in June 2016. Read our news release about the four projects that received $19 million (total) in the first round of Protect Initiative funding

Projects may range from conservation of an urban parcel to a ranch that encompasses tens of thousands of acres, but all must present a compelling urgency, involve significant size and/or cost, and be accessible and/or visible to the public. The minimum request for GOCO funding of these projects is $1 million. Multiple-parcel or phased projects may be considered but will be limited with regard to substitutions of properties and extensions of grants.

Who can apply

Eligible grantees are municipalities, counties, land trusts, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and a limited number of political subdivisions of the state with an open space purpose.

how to apply

  • Call Open Space Program Manager Michele Frishman at 303-226-4522 to determine your project's eligibility and whether it will be competitive. 
  • To apply, you must first submit a concept paper in the required format to Michele Frishman at mfrishman@goco.org. (See the Request for Concept Papers below.)

If you have more than one project in mind, please submit a separate concept paper for each project.

Please keep in mind that a concept paper does not constitute a grant application. GOCO staff and peer reviewers will review your concept paper, and staff will present eligible concept papers to the GOCO Board. GOCO staff may determine that your project does not present sufficient urgency to receive funding in a particular cycle and may recommend submitting an updated concept paper in a later cycle. Selected eligible applicants will receive a formal, invitation-only application, and a site visit will be scheduled.

Feel free to contact us at any point during the completion of your concept paper and application. We are always willing and happy to assist you.


when to apply

  • December 19, 2016: Request for concept papers posted (see form above)
  • February 1, 2017: Concept papers due to GOCO
  • March 23, 2017: Concept papers presented to the GOCO Board at the GOCO Board Meeting in Fort Morgan
  • March 24, 2017: Applications distributed to selected projects
  • April - May 2017: Site visits of selected projects
  • May 12, 2017: Final applications due
  • June 15, 2017: Grants awarded at the GOCO Board Meeting in Alamosa


Contact Michele Frishman, Open Space Program Manager, at (303) 226-4522 or mfrishman@goco.org