Ridgway Inholding, Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space. Photo courtesy of Courtney Bennett.
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 27 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 5,300 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 July and August, three projects closed, representing more than $2.3 million in GOCO investments into local communities across the state. Scroll to see if one’s near you:
Edison Park at Venetian Village
$110,000 grant to the City of Colorado Springs
The City of Colorado Springs, in partnership with Thomas Edison Elementary, used GOCO funds to transform the school’s 60-year-old playground into a modern playscape. Community members and students were invited to help design the new playground, which features two outdoor classrooms, boulders for climbing, a shade structure, and other nature-inspired elements. The new school yard was named Edison Park at Venetian Village to honor the city’s heritage of Italian homesteaders. Watch Thomas Edison Elementary's playground project video >>
Lunch Loops Trail
$1,517,045 grant to the City of Grand Junction
With the help of GOCO funds, the City of Grand Junction, in partnership with Mesa Land Trust, constructed a 1.5-mile, multi-use pathway to connect the Colorado Riverfront Trail to the Three Sisters Open Space and Lunch Loops Trailhead. The Lunch Loops Trail Head sees approximately 120,000 users per year, clearly demonstrating the need for safe, multimodal access to the trail. Funds were also used to construct two bridges and four low water crossings, linking Grand Valley residents and visitors to 75 miles of single track trail systems. The project was funded through GOCO’s Connect Initiative, which has awarded more than $28 million to projects that focus on closing critical trail gaps and creating safe access to the outdoors. Explore the Lunch Loops Trail System >>
$700,000 grant to Eagle Valley Land Trust
With its GOCO Open Space grant, Eagle Valley Land Trust, in partnership with Eagle County Open Space, purchased the 133-acre Ridgway parcel, an inholding of the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space. The property, which connects hundreds of thousands of acres of conserved land, is home to critical environments that support rare plant species and migration corridors for the local deer and elk populations. Conservation of the Ridgway Inholding ensures the long-term protection of the Brush Creek valley floor, builds on the existing recreational amenities in the area, provides the opportunity for meaningful public education and interpretation, and protects scenic views along the road to Sylvan Lake State Park. Read the Ridgway Inholding full press release >>