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GOCO awards $4.3 million for community parks, outdoor recreation projects across Colorado

Thursday, March 15, 2018 -- GOCO
March 15, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:   Rosemary Dempsey, 303-226-4530, rdempsey@goco.org or

                Laura Cardon, 303-226-4531, lcardon@goco.org

DENVER- Today the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) board awarded $4.9 million in funding for 19 projects across the state. The grant round was highly competitive, with funding requested totaling more than triple what was available to award.

Grants were awarded from GOCO’s Local Parks and Outdoor Recreation (LPOR) grant program and the mini grant program for LPOR projects with total budgets of $60,000 or less.

Funded projects will construct new parks or update aging parks, giving families across the state better access to outdoor recreation. In addition, the projects will connect Coloradans to the outdoors with new trail systems and provide more places for everyone to get outside, regardless of ability or experience.

In total, GOCO funding will:

  • Invest in 18 counties across the state
  • Leverage just over 9 million matching funding dollars
  • Acquire 136 acres of land for the public
  • Construct two new parks and update more than 10 others
  • Serve 16 underserved or rural communities

Grant details are as follows:

Akron Pond Revitalization Project, $170,000 grant to the Town of Akron

With the help of the GOCO funding, Akron will be able to replace its fishing pond, which has degraded to the point of no longer sustaining a healthy fish population. The pond is the community’s only local fishing spot and was once a popular destination, but the town has seen a 90 percent decrease in anglers as water seeped out of the pond.

Batenburg Meadows Greenbelt Expansion, $225,274 grant to Costilla County

Costilla County has partnered with Colorado Open Lands to acquire 14 parcels comprising 125 acres of land, a particularly rare opportunity to acquire forested land for public use. Expanding Batenburg Meadows was identified by local residents as a top priority, and expanding the park will legitimize and increase public access.

Buena Vista Community Baseball Field, $350,000 grant to the Town of Buena Vista

The Town of Buena Vista will replace an old sports field, which was deemed unsafe and undersized for current community needs, at a new location with a facility for school district athletics and community events. Half of the town’s population lives within a 10-minute walk of the site, and the upgraded field will serve as a hub of community recreation.

Cal-Wood Educational Greenhouse, $25,443 grant to the Town of Jamestown

In partnership with Cal-Wood Education Center, the Town of Jamestown will invest its GOCO grant in building an educational greenhouse at Cal-Wood to serve school groups, summer campers, and local residents. Currently, residents have no access to greenhouse gardens and limited access to any gardens and fresh produce. The greenhouse will enable healthy eating, as community members will be able harvest and purchase fresh produce throughout the growing season.

Chipeta Park Enhanced Accessibility, $45,000 grant to the Town of Nederland

The Town of Nederland will invest its grant in improving trail conditions and upgrading amenities at Chipeta Park, which serves the mountain community as the only developed public park in a 15-mile radius and as a primary outdoor gathering spot. Enhancements will serve community members who already use the park for field trips, picnics, events, and other community gatherings, while improving ADA access and safer passage for people of all abilities.

Civic League Park, $45,000 grant to Huerfano Parks and Recreation District

In partnership with the City of Walsenburg, HPRD will invest its GOCO grant in upgrading the existing park site at the corner of Hendren Ave. and Pinon St. The partners aim to create a park that encourages youth, adults, and those with disabilities to be more active. The GOCO grant will leverage $11,285 in matching funds from LiveWell Huerfano County.

Clement Park Inclusive Destination Playground, $350,000 grant to Foothills Park and Recreation District

With its GOCO grant, Foothills Park and Recreation District will build a unique, universally accessible playground at Clement Park in unincorporated Jefferson County. Clement Park receives over one million visitors per year, including families with children of all abilities, making it the most highly used park in the district.

Crossroads Park Ball Field Complex, $350,000 grant to North Fork Pool, Park, and Recreation District (NFPPRD)

NFPPRD, in partnership with the Hotchkiss Home Plate, a program providing baseball and softball opportunities for North Fork area youth, will add four ballfields to an array of existing amenities at Crossroads Park. NFPPRD developed the park, with its outdoor swimming pool, soccer fields, bicycle pump track, and more, to serve the recreational needs of the North Fork Valley, including the towns of Paonia, Hotchkiss, and Crawford and the surrounding areas.

Eagle River Park- Upland Construction, $350,000 grant to the Town of Eagle

The Town of Eagle’s river park project will be one step closer to completion with the help of GOCO funding. The river’s parks in-stream wave features broke ground in December 2017, and the town will start work on the Upland Park section of the park later this year. This next step will complete the $3 million project, transforming a once vacant dirt lot into a vibrant river park for the people of Eagle.

Montaña Azul Park- Phase 1, $347,794 grant to City of Alamosa

GOCO funding will help the City of Alamosa complete the first phase of building Montaña Azul Park, which currently serves as a stormwater retention area. After development, the 5.6-acre park will continue to store storm water but will also provide close-to-home recreation for residents. The dual-purpose nature of the park makes it the first of its kind for the city.

Norwood Town Park Expansion and Improvement, $170, 073 grant to the Town of Norwood

GOCO funding will help the Town of Norwood will add two pickleball courts and a splash pad to the centrally located park, which currently offers a playground and two basketball courts. With no pickleball courts for the town to call its own, an active group of approximately 30 pickleball players currently use the basketball courts or the school’s gymnasium to practice, or they travel 20 miles to Nucla to play on an official court.

Park Property Acquisition- Old MCHS, $169,276 grant to the City of Cortez

The City of Cortez will purchase the land, which is currently the site of the old Montezuma-Cortez High School. The property is located on the city’s south side, where currently no parks exist. The total land area of the site is 14 acres, and Cortez will purchase 11 of those for the park, with the remaining three acres earmarked for an affordable housing development.  More than half of the community lives on the south side of Cortez, making the park easily accessible to many residents.

Prairie Ridge Trail and Trailhead, $260,000 grant to the City of Loveland

With the help of the Local Park and Outdoor Recreation grant, Loveland will build a 1.5-mile hiking trail, a one-mile, ADA-accessible trail at Prairie Ridge, a parking lot, restrooms, and signage.  Prairie Ridge is a 785-acre open space that features hogbacks, prairies, and wetlands, and the new trail system will help residents and visitors connect with these environments while hiking, wildlife viewing, trail running, and mountain biking. The natural area is the largest, city-managed open space in Loveland, and it has been inaccessible to the public since its purchase 17 years ago.

Prospect Park Renovation Phase II, $350,000 grant to the City of Wheat Ridge

The City of Wheat Ridge will use its LPOR grant to enhance Prospect Park. Nearly 45,000 residents and visitors use the park annually, and renovating it has been a top priority for city officials. The enhancements will provide more opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to enjoy the park.

River Corridor Improvements, $350,000 grant to the City of Cañon City

The City of Cañon City will make a variety of updates to enhance the experience of residents and visitors when recreating along the Arkansas River. The city will build an outdoor classroom along the river, update the existing Centennial Park play wave and construct a new “Ice House” play wave, designate an in-river play area for children, improve the existing boat take-out ramp, and add a gate system for competitive slalom paddlers.

Runyon Complex Expansion Phase I, $350,000 grant to Pueblo County

Pueblo County will add three new artificial turf baseball/softball fields to Runyon Sports Complex. In addition to building the fields, the county will use the funding to add dugouts, fencing, walking paths, bleachers, a scoreboard, a sound system, and necessary lighting. The complex currently has six fields that cater to youth of all ages, from elementary school students to college-aged. However, demand far exceeds available space, so long waiting lists for students who want to play are not uncommon.

Smith Baseball Field Improvements, $33,009 grant to the Town of Limon

Limon will invest in enhancements that will improve safety and support the community’s recreational activities at Smith Field, the only baseball field in Limon. The home of the Limon Badgers baseball team for decades, Smith Field needs an update to make it a more welcoming site for practices and games for youth recreational programs, high school baseball, and during summer months, adult recreational leagues.

Town of Nucla Area Improvement Project, $350,000 grant to the Town of Nucla

Nucla’s GOCO grant will be invested in the construction of an arena for livestock shows, agricultural education, and rodeo competitions. The current arena was built in 1971 and has seen few renovations since. The old facility will be demolished and rebuilt, and the new space will include riding and warm-up arenas, pens for livestock, a concessions stand, a booth for judges, and bleachers.

Weber Park Baseball Field Enhancement Project, $41,200 grant to the Town of Dove Creek

Youth baseball and softball leagues are Dove Creek Recreation Department’s most popular programs, and yet the department is limited in the number of games and events it can host due to poor conditions at the existing field. Dove Creek will invest its GOCO grant in enhancements that will improve safety and support the community’s recreational activities at Weber Park, the most heavily used park in Dolores County.

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 5,000 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.