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 29 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, five projects were completed, representing more than $826,850 in GOCO investments into local communities across the state. Scroll to see if one’s near you:

Big Thompson River Recreational & Picnic Area

$45,000 grant to the Town of Estes Park

With support from a GOCO mini grant and Visit Estes Park, the Town of Estes Park completed the construction of the Big Thompson River Recreational and Picnic Area. Located along the Big Thompson River across from the Estes Park Visitor Center, the area contains two picnic shelters, an open picnic table pad, and one “Flintstones-style” table and chairs. The area’s center features a large bouldering rock for climbers of all ages and abilities. The climbing rock, table pad, and one of the shelters are ADA accessible. The site also has a new irrigation system, newly planted shade trees, native grass and wildflower seeded areas, wood rail fencing along the highway, and a rock landscape feature for river recreation access. 
 Read a local press release about the grant

Crawford Sledding Slope, Parking and Access

$29,750 grant to the Town of Crawford

The North Fork Montessori School, in partnership with the Town of Crawford, used its GOCO mini grant to build a sledding hill and parking lot. A south-facing slope behind the elementary school was re-oriented and graded to face east,  supporting proper drainage and the installation of an ADA-compliant sidewalk connected to the newly-paved parking lot. With the next closest sledding slope over a 40-minute drive away, this project brings outdoor recreation closer to home for students and residents. 
Read a local press release about the project

Henderson Park Renovation Project

$41,300 grant to the Town of Crested Butte 

In partnership with the Crested Butte Creative District, the Town of Crested Butte used its GOCO mini grant to renovate the 50-year-old Henderson Park located in the heart of town. The renovated park marries arts and recreation while creating a social space for visitors and residents. The park provides ADA-accessible play features for 2-5-year olds, an ADA-accessible picnic space, public art, shade trees, perennial gardens with native species, and more.
Read a local press release about the project

Naturita Town Park Phase 1

$350,000 grant to the Town of Naturita

With the help of a GOCO Local Parks and Outdoor Recreation grant (LPOR), the Town of Naturita transformed an abandoned BMX course into a park “reminiscent of a big city”. The park boasts grass areas, shade trees, cobblestone drainage features, and several play features surrounded by the only concrete trail in town. Play features include an adventure course for kids ages 11-15, several playgrounds including a tot lot playground, a zip line, mister, strider track, natural boulders for climbing, and more. The park is within a 10-minute walk from most of Naturita’s residents, the community center, public library, elementary school, and more.
 Learn more about the Town of Naturita

Shawn Andrick Memorial Preserve Phase III

$360,800 grant to Central Colorado Conservancy

With the help of a Land Acquisition grant, Central Colorado Conservancy protected over 100 acres of land in southern Lake County as part of the Shawn Andrick Memorial Preserve (pictured above). This increased the size of the existing Arkansas River Community (ARC) Preserve to 271 acres of critically important wildlife habitat and migration corridors. The preserve also links to three Colorado Parks and Wildlife state wildlife areas, Bureau of Land Management lands, and national forests. Its permanent protection will increase recreation opportunities along the Arkansas River as a management plan is currently being developed for public access like gold medal fishing. The ARC Preserve is a partnership that has spanned over a decade between Central Colorado Conservancy, Colorado Open Lands, Lake County, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Trout Unlimited, Gates Family Foundation, Climax Mine, Lake County Open Space Initiative, the Natural Resources Damages Trustees, and individual donors. 
Read a local press release on the project