DENVER – Today the GOCO board awarded a total of $450,000 to The Nature Conservancy in Colorado and Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development to offer fellowships for young people to prepare for careers in the outdoors. 

The grants are part of the third round of GOCO’s Fellowship Program, which funds two-year positions at select organizations for young people of diverse backgrounds to gain experience in the fields of conservation, outdoor recreation, and stewardship, while addressing organizational needs. GOCO and its partners aim to reduce barriers to careers in the outdoors and positively introduce young people to the compelling and rewarding benefits of this exciting line of work. 

Fellowship grants include: 

$300,000 to The Nature Conservancy in Colorado 

The grant will help The Nature Conservancy (TNC) hire two fellows to support land protection and stewardship, outreach, and conservation efforts. The TNC Conservation Fellowship is designed to provide career growth and professional development opportunities for talented, emerging professionals who embody diversity in its many forms, while advancing the organization’s conservation goals focused on addressing climate change and reversing biodiversity decline and loss. The two fellows will support a variety of initiatives based on their individual interests.

$150,000 to Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development 

The grant will help Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development (SECED) hire a fellow to advance its regional recreation outreach plan. The fellow will help identify regional gaps in services and opportunities for outdoor recreation, as well as pursue projects that address the protection and enhancement of area recreational assets. The fellow will engage stakeholders at regular monthly meetings to gather input and help build a vibrant community. The fellow will also communicate the value of the outdoors and efforts to create, grow, and take care of outdoor projects. SECED operates as part of the Southeast Council of Governments comprising Baca, Bent, Crowley, Otero, Kiowa, and Prowers counties. 

Read press releases from the first and second rounds of the program.

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 5,600 projects in all 64 counties of Colorado without any tax dollar support. Visit for more information.