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 30 years, GOCO has improved Colorado’s great outdoors with the help of Colorado Lottery proceeds. We’ve put more than $1.4 billion in proceeds back into 5,600 projects to improve the lives of Coloradans across the state.
After projects are awarded funding, grant recipients usually have about two years to make their projects happen.
In recent months, 10 projects were completed, representing $2,384,812 in GOCO investments into local communities across the state. Scroll to see if one’s near you:
Conservation Stimulus, Rural Community Support, and Organizational Resiliency
$150,000 grant to Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust
With the support of a GOCO Resilient Communities grant, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) was able to advance its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts and increase capacity for conservation projects across Colorado. This funding allowed CCALT to hire a DEI consultant for staff to participate in a 21-week DEI training course to gain perspectives on how to integrate DEI principles into organizational policy and deliver meaningful conservation benefitting all Coloradans. In addition, CCALT hired a Director of Additive Conservation to develop and launch a program supporting landowners to achieve long-term stewardship goals and initiate two conservation pilot projects.
Learn more about CCALT and its Additive Conservation Program
Delhi Ranch Conservation Easement
$200,000 grant to Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust
Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) used its Land Acquisition grant to partner with The Nature Conservancy and a private ranching family to permanently protect the 27,340-acre Delhi Ranch with a conservation easement. The ranch spans Las Animas, Otero, and Pueblo counties and consists of native shortgrass prairie that supports nearly twice as many animal species of concern than other land-based ecosystems in Colorado. The easement limits the division and loss of land (also called ‘fragmentation’) and supports soil and grassland management practices that help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Read the project’s press release
Fremont County Campground and Trail Critical Stewardship Project
$128,466 grant to City of Cañon City
The City of Cañon City used its Resilient Communities grant to partner with Fremont Adventure Recreation, Bureau of Land Management, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to address stewardship issues at several public properties impacted by overuse. At Royal Gorge Park, the City closed social trails, expanded parking areas, installed bear-proof trash bins, placed new signage on trails, purchased two wildlife watering stations, and more. In addition, crews from Mile High Youth Corps improved 23 campsites at Royal Gorge Oil Wells Flats and worked on 11 miles of trail across the City. The partners also created permanent barriers, installed kiosks, and created educational signage and maps to mitigate future impacts.
Learn more and plan your visit to the Royal Gorge Park
Generation Wild Northeast Metro Coalition
$644,047 grant to City and County of Denver
With its Generation Wild grant, the City and County of Denver, a partner of the Generation Wild of the Northeast Metro Coalition, was able to support multiple projects in the Denver Metro area. At the Bluff Lake Nature Center, an equipment shed was turned into a welcome center, and a new nature playground was constructed featuring climbing, water, and sand play areas, a short grass meadow with walking paths, and more. At The Urban Farm, funding supported the expansion of the Co-Op Community Garden and the construction of barrier fencing to reduce the loss of crops caused by prairie dogs, rabbits, and rats. The water system and tool storage space were also improved, and a community area with granite walking paths was added. Finally, this funding also supported the construction of the Environmental Learning for Kids(ELK) Education Center and Open Space Park. The 7,000-square-foot education center located on a 5.5-acre site is a community-based education center with an outdoor natural area providing youth the opportunity to access science, math, environmental education, and life skills.
Learn more about the Generation Wild Northeast Metro Coalition
Mountain Heritage Park, Phase I
$41,500 grant to City of Salida
In partnership with the Chipeta Mountain project, the City of Salida used its GOCO mini-grant to construct Mountain Heritage Park as a celebration of the area's rich natural and cultural mountain history. The park is the first interpretive mountain park in the City and provides community members and visitors free access to the outdoors. Located on the iconic ‘S Mountain,’ the park installed a central kiosk with three Peak View Pavilions where visitors can learn about and enjoy vistas of the Ute Peaks, the Sawatch Range, and the Sangre de Cristo Range. It also features a native flora garden with a rock-lined walking path, an ADA-compliant pathway leading from the newly improved parking lot, information display panels, and more.
Learn more about Mountain Heritage Park
$80,972 grant to Town of Olathe
With its Generation Wild grant, The Nature Connection–a Generation Wild coalition–redesigned, resurfaced, and completed the walking path located at Olathe Community Park. The previously deteriorated state of the path was unwelcoming, unorganized, broken down, and unsafe in many areas. The newly resurfaced path opens up park space for other outdoor activities and allows residents and visitors to have a defined and safe path for walking, running, and biking.
Learn more about the Nature Connection
Panorama Park RISES with the Community
$350,000 grant to City of Colorado Springs
With a Local Parks and Outdoor Recreation grant, the City of Colorado Springs enhanced the 13.5-acre Panorama Park (pictured above)--the largest neighborhood park renovation project in the City’s history. In partnership with the Trust for Public Land and RISE Coalition, the City engaged in a park discovery process gathering public input and developing designs for a park that inspires safe outdoor recreation and play. The park now features a new universally accessible playground, a community plaza for events and activities, shade shelters, a skate park, a climbing boulder, improved walking and biking paths, a basketball court, multi-purpose sports fields, a fitness zone, bilingual signage, native grasses, and more.
Learn more about Panorama Park
Public Lands Stewardship and Visitor Education
$242,356 grant to San Juan County
As part of the San Juan Stewardship Project, San Juan County used its Resilient Communities grant to help mitigate the effects of increased use of outdoor open spaces. Through staff, volunteers, and social media at local recreation hotspots, the County educated the public on the importance of outdoor stewardship, ‘Leave No Trace’ ethics, and wildfire safety. Water quality data were used to document watershed impacts from human waste and to encourage visitors to properly dispose of their waste. In addition, the County’s on-the-ground stewardship team helped enhance the visitor experience by repairing damaged trails caused by unmanaged recreation. Youth were also engaged through its citizen science program and internship opportunities aimed at fostering a new generation of conservationists.
Read a local press release on the project
Resilient Communities Youth Program
$456,646 grant to City and County of Denver
Using its Resilient Communities grant, the City and County of Denver developed the Resilient Communities Youth Program, a youth-centered network to implement stewardship projects in parks across the City. The program employed local youth while providing the opportunity to learn about green jobs and gain applicable skills in the outdoor industry. Youth participants worked on projects that supported park resiliency and assisted with maintenance needs resulting from COVID-19 budget cuts. Funding also supported youth salaries and the creation of a new position on the Resiliency Team to oversee the youth program. In 2022, the program reached 125 youth throughout Denver and worked on projects spanning weed removal, lakeshore restoration, flower bed maintenance, wildlife management, and forestry. 55 hours of training and educational opportunities were also offered to program participants throughout the year.
Learn more about Denver Parks and Recreation’s Resiliency Program
Volunteer Stewardship on Pitkin County Open Space and Trails
$90,825 grant to Pitkin County
With its Resilient Communities grant, Pitkin County partnered with Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers to recruit and manage a robust volunteer program that delivered a range of stewardship projects addressing increased use following the onset of COVID-19. The project allowed for 163 work days on public lands in Pitkin County with 5,603 volunteer hours and an additional 2,841 RFOV staff hours. Volunteers worked on 66.7 miles of trail and restored 15 acres of habitat across 44 project sites in Pitkin County. This partnership allowed for more streamlined volunteer recruitment to support impactful projects all season long.
Learn more about Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers