As a statewide funding organization that invests millions of public dollars each year, we continue to support organizations and individuals making Colorado’s outdoor spaces more accessible, safe, and welcoming for people who have historically been prevented from enjoying the outdoors and the many benefits it provides.

GOCO is committed to addressing issues of disparity and disproportionality, because the benefits of conservation and recreation on peoples’ lives are deep and multifaceted. Black people, Indigenous people, and all people of color should have access to quality, life-enhancing outdoor spaces and experiences.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core to the success of our internal operations as well as how we engage with our partners and their communities. We rely on these equity principles to guide our approach:

Accessibility | We work to remove barriers to ensure equitable access to funding and make grantmaking processes clear and efficient.

Community-Centered Approach | We strive to meet communities where they are. Together with partners, we consider the unique culture and needs of each community in order to fulfill its vision.

Education and Support | We provide partners with resources, training, and shared learning opportunities to support success.

Communications | We communicate with clear, accessible, and inclusive language and lift up the authentic, community-created stories of our partners.

We apply an equity lens to our internal operations to create and ensure a workplace that is inclusive and equitable. We value diverse perspectives and make decision-making processes transparent. And to foster ongoing learning, we provide access to resources and opportunities that enrich equity education for our staff and board.

GOCO aims to diversify its own staff, and through our Fellowship Program, we offer young people from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to prepare for careers in the outdoors, gaining meaningful experience in the fields of conservation, outdoor recreation, and stewardship and growing a professional skillset to apply to future endeavors. We aim to be part of a broader movement to diversify the conservation and recreation workforce.

To prioritize our staff’s continued learning and growth, we’ve created a staff-led EDI team. Its charter guides us and holds us accountable to integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion values into our work, including our policies and practices, our grant programs, staff training, communication, partnerships, and internal culture.

As we continue our journey in supporting and advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion values, we welcome your feedback. We’d also like to know how we can best support you in your efforts to make access to the outdoors more equitable.

Land Acknowledgment

A land acknowledgment is a statement that formally recognizes the historical and continuing connection between Indigenous peoples and their native lands. It is a social justice and decolonial practice that promotes Indigenous visibility and honors those who have stewarded Colorado’s land for generations.

In this spirit, we should never forget that the lands and waters of our beautiful state are the homeland of many tribes. They include Apache Nation, Arapaho Nation, Cheyenne Nation, Pueblo Tribes, Shoshone Tribe, and Ute Nation. We respect and honor the longstanding relationships they have with this land.

Learn more and find resources for creating your own land acknowledgement from the Native Governance Center. Reference this map of Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages across the world.