Knorr Ranch, Summit County. Photo courtesy of Ren Martyn.
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 September, five projects closed, representing more than $3 million in GOCO investments into local communities across the state. Scroll to see if one’s near you:
Arickaree School Playground
$110,000 grant to Washington County
Washington County, in partnership with Arickaree School, used GOCO funds to help transform the school’s 30-year old playground into a nature-inspired play space. The new play area features a shaded outdoor classroom with picnic tables, a large play structure, swing set, new basketball hoops, volleyball equipment, black top repairs, and benches. The outdoor space was also enhanced with nature-inspired elements, which includes boulders, trees, and native grass. Arickaree School, which serves a 638-square mile area in southeastern Washington County, serves as a community hub for recreation and activities. The project received strong community support, with the school’s 3rd-5th graders leading the charge on fundraising and soliciting donations. Learn how Arickaree School is bridging the rural-urban STEM divide >>
Brush Creek Valley Ranch Fence Removal and Trail Reroute
$17,200 grant to Eagle County
With its GOCO grant, Eagle County hired crews from Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (RMYC) to make updates to Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space. Guided by recommendations from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, corps members replaced outdated, barbed wire fences with wildlife-friendly, smooth-tension fencing. In addition, RMYC helped construct a trail to connect users to nearby public lands. Read more about GOCO’s investments in the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space property >>
Connecting the People to their Parks and Recreation
$2,000,000 grant to the City of Montrose
The City of Montrose, in partnership with the Montrose Recreation District, used its GOCO Connect Initiative grant to construct 2.25 miles of new trail for bikers and pedestrians that extends from the Community Recreation Center to the 282-acre Baldridge Regional Park and existing Uncompahgre River Trail. By way of two underpasses, the completed project eliminates the need for trail users to cross U.S. Highway 550 and State Highway 90, creating a safer, more connected community. The completed segments offer residents and visitors with improved access to the area’s primary parks, recreation facilities, and business hubs. The project aligned with community input received during the development of the city's Comprehensive Master Plan and the Uncompahgre Riverway Master Plan, which showed walking/biking trail development to be among the highest priorities for new community amenities. Check out the full press release and project scope >>
Knorr Ranch Conservation Easement
$866,049 grant to Summit County
In 2018, Summit County and Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) partnered with two neighboring landowners to form the Knorr Ranch Conservation Partnership to permanently conserve 1,123 acres of lakefront ranchland. The property, which is located in the Lower Blue River Valley in Summit County, was one of the largest remaining private landholdings in the country. GOCO Open Space funds were used to help reimburse the county for its investment in the property's conservation easement. Knorr Ranch is surrounded by rolling hay meadows, sagebrush uplands, and more than 50 acres of wetland habitat. It is also the foreground of the Eagles Nest Wilderness and the Gore Range and is visible to travelers on State Highway 9. Read CCALT’s newsletter featuring Knorr Ranch and its cultural heritage >>
Land Acquisition to Expand San Luis Community Park
$36,500 grant to the Town of San Luis
In October 2019, the Town of San Luis received a $142,000 grant from Colorado Health Foundation to add a children’s bike park and a walking path around the park’s perimeter. However, to begin construction, the town needed to expand the park’s 3.5-acre property. With the help of GOCO funds, the town acquired an additional .74 acres of land to accommodate the park’s new features. In addition to the new amenities, the acquired land also provides residents and visitors with improved access to the park and additional space for parking. The completed project supports the town’s master plan, which focuses on developing economic and recreation opportunities for residents and visitors. Read the full press release >>