Crown Bike Park in El Jebel. Photo by Kelsey Brunner, courtesy of The Aspen Times.
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 28 years, GOCO has improved Colorado’s great outdoors with the help of Colorado Lottery proceeds. We’ve put more than $1.3 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 October, six projects closed, representing more than $400,000 in GOCO investments into local communities across the state. Scroll to see if one’s near you:
Box Cañon Falls Park Trail Repair and Beautification Project
$16,093 grant to City of Ouray
With its GOCO grant, the City of Ouray hired Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) crews to restore trails, remove old fences, thin limbs and brush, add check dams to assist with drainage, and repair a retaining wall at Box Cañon Falls. As part of the project scope, crew members also worked to identify areas in need of updated interpretive signage to enhance visitors’ learning experience. These stewardship efforts by the City and SCC will help ensure visitors continue to have a safe, enjoyable recreation experience at the park. Explore Box Cañon Falls Park and surrounding trails >>
Crown Bike Park
$168,091 grant to Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District (CMPRD)
CMPRD used GOCO funds to transform Crown Mountain Park’s existing BMX track into a full bike park designed for riders of all ages and ability levels. New park amenities include a beginner-to-expert dirt jump progression track and a one-mile, cross-country trail complete with rolling hills, balance obstacles, and rock and wood features. GOCO funding was also used to install navigation signage, safety fencing, landscaping, and shade structures. Crown Mountain is the largest and most used park serving the entire Roaring Fork Valley and sees an average of 300,000 people on an annual basis. CMPRD hopes the new bike park will benefit the community, local schools, day camps, clubs, and youth groups. Read a full press release about the park’s new features >>
GGP Seasonal Garden for Community Education
$14,128 grant to Town of Pagosa Springs
The Town of Pagosa Springs used its GOCO grant to hire a camping crew from Southwest Conservation Corps to work on the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership’s (GGP) public education facilities in Centennial Park. For two weeks, crews worked to build 140 feet of wildlife fencing, plant native species to promote pollinator and bird habitat, and plant seedlings of the federally-endangered Pagosa skyrocket. Learn more about Southwest Conservation Corps’ projects and partnerships >>
Missing Link for the Monument Corridor Connector
$156,920 grant to City of Grand Junction
The City of Grand Junction, in partnership with Colorado West Land Trust (CWLT), used GOCO funds to acquire a 20-acre property along the Monument Corridor. The partners plan to build a 1.5-mile trail on the property to fill the last-remaining gap in the Monument Trail. Once future funding is secured, the proposed segment will complete a 10-mile paved loop connecting the Colorado Riverfront Trail, the Lunch Loop trail system, Riggs Hill, Connected Lakes, the Audubon Trail, downtown Grand Junction, and several residential neighborhoods. The City hopes that this property acquisition and new segment will greatly enhance connectivity and access for people of all ages and abilities to one of the area’s most popular trail systems. Read a press release about the Monument Corridor’s “missing link” >>
Russian Olive Tree Removal
$30,000 grant to Foothills Park and Recreation District
Over the last four years, Foothills Park and Recreation District (FHPRD) has hired Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC) to assist with the large-scale removal of Russian olive trees on various properties within the district. With its GOCO grant, FHPRD continued its partnership with MYHC to build on these eradication efforts and remove more than 1,000 Russian olive trees from 81 acres of wetland habitat on the Meadows Greenbelt and Dutch Creek Drainage property. Watch this video about MHYC and the program’s impacts >>
Steamboat Springs Trail Project
$40,000 grant to City of Steamboat Springs
With its Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA) grant, the City of Steamboat Springs hired crews from Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (RMYC) to build and restore trails. At Spring Creek Pond Loop Trail, corps members built and restored trail near the area’s upper pond. At Emerald Mountain, crews rerouted 1,500 feet of the Prayer Flag Trail, which had been built 25 years prior and had become badly eroded. Located just outside of downtown, RMYC crews built the first official trail at Rita Valentine Park with the hope of discouraging the creation and use of social trails in the area. Check out RMYC’s Facebook page for more info about the corp and its impacts >>