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 29 years, GOCO has improved Colorado’s great outdoors with the help of Colorado Lottery proceeds. We’ve put more than $1.4 billion in proceeds back into 5,500 projects to improve the lives of Coloradans across the state.

After projects are awarded funding, grant recipients usually have about two years to make their projects happen. 

In recent months, six projects were completed, representing more than $1,247,902 in GOCO investments into local communities across the state. Scroll to see if one’s near you:

Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) and Yampa Valley Land Trust

$50,000 Conservation Excellence grant to Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust

With this funding, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) and Yampa Valley Land Trust (YVLT) merged to expand their conservation services in Northwest Colorado. This allows CCALT and YVLT to fulfill their conservation goals while supporting the agricultural and recreational economy in the region. CCALT staff also helped establish the 11-member Yampa Valley Conservation Advisory Committee, which advises the CCALT board of directors on issues pertaining to conservation and easement stewardship.
Learn more about CCALT

Evergreen Lake Community Response

$258,000 Resilient Communities grant to Evergreen Park and Recreation District 

In partnership with Evergreen Metropolitan District, Evergreen Park and Recreation District (EPRD) used its GOCO grant to fund the operational, recreational, and stewardship needs at Evergreen Lake. The pandemic caused a disproportionate increase in park visitation with cascading impacts on the lake, including the creation of social trails, the expansion and braiding of existing trails, extensive shoreline erosion, and other challenges. Funding supported the rehiring of a park manager and several maintenance and stewardship staff, as well as materials for social trail closure, bank stabilization, and sanitation. The grant also supported the design of the lake-level perimeter trail, another GOCO-supported project.
Read a local press release about the project

Get Outdoors Leadville! Community Gear Library

$589,902 Generation Wild grant to Get Outdoors Leadville! 

With this funding Get Outdoors Leadville! built a Community Gear Library at the Colorado Mountain College campus. The two-story facility is packed with bikes, helmets, tents, skis, and more. As part of a national model for equitable access to and greater diversity in outdoor recreation, the gear library is breaking down barriers to outdoor adventures by giving all Lake County residents access to the necessary gear.
 Learn more about the gear library 

Ignite interest in Natural Resource Careers

$75,000 Planning and Capacity grant to the Town of Oak Creek

The Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) and the Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA) have supported youth career development in Colorado since 2012 through their Careers in Natural Resources Initiative. With the help of GOCO funds, CAEE and CYCA partnered with the Town of Oak Creek to collect baseline data for the initiative, build a trainer network, and develop and market an engaging career awareness digital resource, a “How-To Guide for Pursuing a Career in Natural Resources.”
Read more about the initiative 

Outdoor Wilderness Lab Facilities Expansion

$45,000 Mini-Grant to Mesa County 

With this funding, Mesa County and Mesa County Valley School District 51 updated their Outdoor Wilderness Lab (OWL) at the Gateway School, adding an outdoor classroom, sidewalks, paths, and privacy fencing. These new amenities support high-quality outdoor education opportunities for over 1,000 Mesa County sixth-grade students who attend OWL annually as well as numerous community members.
 Learn more about the lab

Partnering for Community Conservation

$230,000 Resilient Communities grant to Colorado Open Lands

A Resilient Communities grant allowed Colorado Open Lands (COL) to partner with several local land trusts to improve operations to ensure sustainability and community benefit. Southwest Land Alliance in Pagosa Springs, Clear Creek Land Conservancy in Golden, and San Isabel Land Protection Trust in Westcliffe, faced fundraising and staff challenges that limited their impact and were compounded by the pandemic. Through collaboration with these organizations, stakeholders, landowners, and communities, merging organizations was determined to be the best option to protect important lands and reinvigorate local conservation efforts. The three mergers brought 173 conservation easements on around 51,000 acres into permanent stewardship with COL. Following the merger, COL has established local advisory committees and is working on numerous and diverse conservation and restoration projects in these landscapes. 
Learn more about COL