By Tom Seaver, director of the Colorado Lottery
GOCO receives up to 50% of Lottery proceeds annually to invest in our state's parks, trails, open spaces, rivers, and wildlife. In Colorado, most Lottery proceeds benefit the outdoors. In addition to GOCO's portion, The Conservation Trust Fund receives 40%, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) receives 10%. In years when GOCO's proceeds meet a constitutionally mandated cap, Colorado Department of Education's school capital construction fund Building Excellent Schools Today and CPW receive spillover funds from Lottery.
We are very excited that Governor Jared Polis has proclaimed October 2021 ‘Colorado Lottery Conservation Month’ for the second year in a row. The proclamation celebrates Colorado Lottery’s commitment to conservation and protection of Colorado’s great outdoors.
To continue to drive awareness about the importance of conservation, this month the Lottery supported a number of events and is urging people to get out and volunteer to help improve the spaces we hold so dear.
We welcomed more than 100 people at our third annual "Runyon to the Res" Arkansas River Trail clean-up event on Oct. 9, where we helped to clean up eight miles of a heavily used stretch of trail that runs along the Arkansas River, working closely with our partners, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the City of Pueblo Parks and Recreation, and the Nature and Wildlife Discovery Center.
Conservation is about more than saving open space. Every acre of local parks improvement, trail upkeep, new recreation spaces and expanding to accommodate all of the new people who enjoy Colorado’s great outdoors every year.
On Saturday, Oct. 16, a volunteer crew headed to CPW's at Cherry Creek State Park from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., where they spent the day helping remove Russian Olive trees. The Russian Olive is an extremely invasive species known to choke out native plants and prevent them from re-establishing.
As of today, the Lottery has returned more than $3.7 billion to parks, recreation, conservation projects and schools and this fiscal year alone, the Lottery gave nearly $169.4 million to its proceeds partners which marked a record year.