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 August, 3 projects were completed, representing more than $2.1 million in GOCO investments into local communities across the state. Scroll to see if one’s near you:

Caldon Ranch- Conejos Ranchland Initiative

$300,481 grant to Colorado Open Lands

With funding support from an Open Space grant, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the LOR Family Foundation, Colorado Open Lands conserved Caldon Base Ranch. Located in Conejos County, the 529-acre ranch is part of the Conejos Ranchland Conservation Initiative which protects a total of 1,680 acres of wildlife habitat, scenic views, and agricultural land in the San Luis Valley. The ranch boasts 160 acres of wetlands with a habitat that supports a wide variety of wildlife including the bald eagle, golden eagle, American peregrine falcon, rocky mountain sandhill crane, and other migratory birds and small mammals.
Learn more about the project

Keystone Phase I Conservation Easement (Buffalo Horn Ranch)

$1,576,300 grant to Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) used its Open Space grant to conserve 11,752 acres of the Buffalo Horn Ranch located northwest of Meeker. This project is the first of a two-phase plan to conserve over 23,000 total acres. The project protects vital habitat, winter range, and key migration corridors for White River elk and mule deer herds, and includes breeding grounds for greater sage grouse. The property contains 69 miles of intermittent streams, and is adjacent to over 8,000 acres of privately protected land, 10,000 acres of state lands, and 145,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management lands in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. The landowner allows visitors to partake in hunting, wildlife viewing, and recreational activities as well as visit President Theodore Roosevelt’s historic hunting cabin on a controlled basis.
Learn more about the project

Outdoor STEM Classroom & Playspace

$255,000 grant to Mesa County

With support from a Local Park & Outdoor Recreation grant, the Colorado Health Foundation, and Colorado Mesa University, the EUREKA! McConnell Science Museum and Mesa County built an outdoor STEM classroom and playspace (pictured above) The playspace and classroom includes two math and science-themed recreational play features, climbable rock features, an outdoor planetarium, a pollinator garden, and a native plant walk. The free-to-the-public space is surrounded by rubber-surfaced educational patterns and designs.
Learn more about the museum