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Where Do You GOCO- August and September 2019 closed projects

Friday, October 18, 2019 -- GOCO

Kids playing at Arrowhead Elementary. Photo by moxie82inc.

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 26 years, GOCO has improved Colorado’s great outdoors with the help of Colorado Lottery proceeds. We’ve put more than $1.2 billion in proceeds back into 5,200 projects to improve the lives of Coloradans across the state.

After projects are awarded funding, grant recipients have about two years to make their projects happen. In August and September, eight projects closed, representing more than $362,000 in GOCO investments into local communities across the state. Scroll to see if one’s near you:

Arrowhead Elementary School Playground Renovation Project

$110,000 grant to the City of Aurora

With its GOCO grant, Arrowhead Elementary partnered with the City of Aurora to renovate the school’s outdated playground. The completed project, whose design was student-led, includes new equipment, a two-tiered outdoor classroom, a xeriscape garden, and a reading nook. The updates have connected Arrowhead Elementary with the surrounding community by providing nearby families with more recreational opportunities. Read more about Arrowhead Elementary’s playground and design process >> 

Brenda Joy Bike Park

$44,693 grant to the City of Fort Morgan 

The City of Fort Morgan received GOCO funds to further develop and enhance Brenda Joy Bike Park. Additions to the BMX-style park include track features for riders of all levels to enjoy such as ramps, landing zones, balancing obstacles, tunnels, and raised ladder platforms. The project also includes the construction of a half-mile, multi-use nature trail that offers the community and visitors a convenient, close-to-home option for outdoor recreation. Check out this video of Brenda Joy Bike Park’s grand opening >>

City of Thornton Big Dry Creek Russian Olive Phase 2

$36,000 grant to the City of Thornton

Thornton and Adams County received funds from GOCO to continue its efforts to eradicate invasive Russian olive trees. Russian olive is harmful to native species because it interferes with nutrient cycling and places a burden on water reserves. Adams County’s first round of GOCO funding helped to remove a significant amount of Russian olive, while the second and most current round of funding addressed the remaining untreated section of the 293-acre property. Read on about Thornton’s Big Dry Creek project >>

Spring Creek Bridge Replacement

$15,200 grant to the City of Steamboat Springs

The City of Steamboat Springs used its GOCO grant to replace two bridges along Spring Creek. Both bridges were over two decades old and had begun to show signs of deterioration, presenting a safety hazard for trail users. To assist with reconstructing the bridges, the city hired locally-based Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. The updated bridges now provide safe passage for trail users and visitors alike. Learn more about Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and its stewardship efforts >>

Wet Meadow and Riparian Restoration in Gunnison Sage‐Grouse Habitats of Western Colorado

$15,200 grant to Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District

The Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District received a GOCO grant to execute a collaborative restoration project. The grant helped the District hire local youth corps crews to assist with meadow and riparian restoration essential to wildlife and domestic livestock. To increase drought resiliency, youth crews built rock restoration structures in critical sage-grouse habitats across San Miguel and Mesa Counties in Western Colorado. Read on about Gunnison’s Wet Meadow and Riparian Restoration project >>

Box Canon Falls Native Plant Loop Improvement

$7,980 grant to the City of Ouray

GOCO awarded funds to the City of Ouray to assist with a project aimed at improving the accessibility of one of its trails located in Box Canon Falls. A popular tourist destination in Ouray, Box Canon Falls is a nature park that features stunning views, exceptional bird watching, and a 285-foot plunging waterfall, all within walking distance of the city’s downtown. Youth corp workers were hired to make trail improvements which include improving the trail’s accessibility, addressing erosion and vegetation issues, grading the trail’s linear path, and installing fencing. Learn more about Box Canon Falls >>

Urban Single Track Trail Initiative Phase 1&2 and Reservoir Hill

$24,795 grant to the Town of Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs used GOCO funds to advance its Urban Single-Track Trail Initiative (USTT). The USTT, which serves over 200 students a week, is a trail building collaboration between DUST2, Pagosa Springs’ Parks and Recreation Department, and the Archuleta School District. The town employed youth corps crews from Southwest Conservation Corps to construct 5,280 linear feet of single-track trail, reroute 240 linear feet of trail, and install signage and rock crossings to help mitigate user congestion. Read the full USTT Initiative press release >>

Outdoor Classroom at Bea Underwood Elementary School  

$108,442 grant to Garfield County

With the help of GOCO funds, Garfield County created an outdoor classroom for its students at Bea Underwood Elementary. The new space includes a garden and stage area for presentations, outdoor fire pits, nature-inspired artwork, bilingual signage, and walkways. As part of a larger project called Garco Places, the outdoor classroom aims to connect youth and their families to outdoor activities by providing a space where kids can learn and play. The project was also largely student-led, with second and third graders participating in the design process and the student body voting on the most desired elements for the classroom. Learn more about Bea Underwood Elementary’s outdoor classroom >>

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