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, 4 projects have wrapped up, representing $1.9 million in GOCO investments into local communities across the state. Scroll to see if one’s near you:

Black Bear Hole, 2nd Avenue Trailhead Access and LMJ Improvements Proposal

$282,003 grant to Town of Lyons 

The Town of Lyons used its Resilient Communities grant to address recreation impacts along the St. Vrain River corridor (pictured above). Increased use during the pandemic caused riverbank erosion, social trails, and impromptu day-use areas at Black Bear Hole and LaVern M. Johnson Park. The Town restored trails and river habitat, upgraded picnic sites, restrooms, and camping facilities, and installed riverside seating and new designated parking spaces. They also constructed a trailhead and parking area at 2nd Avenue, adjacent to Black Bear Hole. This project expanded recreation capacity and supported safe access to these popular destinations.
Learn more about the project

Enhanced Land Conservation, Stewardship, and Conservation Connections

$86,200 grant to La Plata Open Space Conservancy 

La Plata Open Space Conservancy (LPOSC) used its Resilient Communities grant to launch a conservation, stewardship, and community engagement initiative to build connections between partners, local youth, community members, and local conservation work. LPOSC hosted information sessions for land-oriented professionals to discuss development pressures in the area. The Conservancy offered workshops and one-on-one sessions for new owners of conserved properties to share information about land management and conservation practices, and provide personalized education and guidance. In addition, the Conservancy worked with youth interns from Fort Lewis College to guide landowners on weed and invasive species control, vegetation and soil management, fire mitigation, and water resource protection. The project also supported educational activities connecting underserved youth to  the outdoors on conserved land in partnership with the San Juan Mountains Association and Campaneros, with the intent to partner with the Southern Ute Tribe in the future.
Read a local news story on the project

Mt. Tom Conservation Corridor

$1,564,500 grant to Colorado Parks & Wildlife

With a Centennial Program grant, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) partnered with The Conservation Fund, Jefferson County Open Space, and Mountain Area Land Trust in an ongoing effort to protect approximately 2,000 acres of new public open space and wildlife habitat northwest of Denver. The area connects other previously conserved landscapes and protects natural resources for Colorado communities and wildlife habitat for moose, elk, mule deer, black bear, and mountain lion. This funding supported CPW in acquiring approximately 1,176 acres from Douglas Mountain, White Ranch, and Coal Creek Canyon, which will be added to the Ralston Creek State Wildlife Area in the future, extending it by 50%. The entire Mount Tom Conservation Corridor is not yet open to the public, but future access for outdoor recreation is planned for a portion of the publicly owned land, including a trail to the summit of Mount Tom.
Learn more about the Mount Tom project 

Peninsula Recreation Area Trail Improvements

$14,000 grant to Town of Frisco

With its Conservation Service Corps (CSC) grant, the Town of Frisco partnered with Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (RMYC) for two weeks of work within the Peninsula Recreation Area. Crews hand-graded and removed rocks and revegetation on the 1,510-foot Perimeter Connector Trail, and constructed 450 feet of trail at Jody’s Nugget Connector Trail. This project is part of a multi-year partnership between RMYC and the Town of Frisco to provide connections between existing trails and other amenities in the Peninsula Recreation Area that residents and visitors year-round.
Learn more about GOCO’s CSC grant program