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 30 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 5,600 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, 11 projects were completed, representing $779,161 in GOCO investments into local communities across the state. Scroll to see if one’s near you:

Developing Recreational and Camping Capacity in Denver Mountain Parks

$53,287 grant to City and County of Denver 

With its Conservation Service Corps (CSC) grant, the City and County of Denver hired a Mile High Youth Corps crew for eight weeks to expand recreation opportunities at Genesee Park and Newton Park.  At Genesee, crews reclaimed an abandoned campground and built new tent pads for camping in the youth programming area. At Newton, crews constructed the first loop of an introductory mountain bike course. The project allows the parks to better accommodate group and volunteer programs and camping, and introduce more Denver youth to mountain biking.
Learn more about our CSC grant program

Elkhorn Creek Forest Health Initiative

$54,691 grant to Larimer County 

Larimer County and the Elkhorn Creek Forest Health Initiative used its Conservation Service Corps grant to hire a Larimer County Conservation Corps (LCCC) crew for three weeks of forest restoration and wildfire mitigation work at Ben Delatour Scout Ranch. Crews mitigated ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer on 20 acres to reduce fire hazards. This project is part of a multi-year effort to improve watershed health, protect nearby communities, safeguard water resources, and build sawyer (professional wood-cutter) capacity in the region. This project marked the final phase of a six-year treatment effort on the Ranch.
Learn more about the project

Healthy Forests, Fences and Benches

$48,825 grant to Chaffee County 

With its Conservation Service Corps grant, Chaffee County employed a Southwest Conservation Corps- Los Valles crew for six weeks of wildfire mitigation work supporting the Healthy Forests, Fences and Benches program. Crews thinned over seven acres of lodgepole pine in Chaffee and Lake Counties to reduce wildfire threats and used the harvested timber to build fences that protect plant and wildlife habitats, and construct accessible benches at recreation sites in Chaffee County.
Read a local press release on the project

John Griffin Regional Park Fire Mitigation

$37,800 grant to Cañon City Area Metropolitan Recreation and Park District 

Cañon City Area Metropolitan Recreation and Park District used its Conservation Service Crops grant to employ a Mile High Youth Corps-Southern Front Range chainsaw crew to protect the long-term viability of the popular John Griffin Regional Park. During four weeks of work, crews removed dead and fallen cottonwood trees on 15 acres of the park to mitigate fire threats during dry conditions and improve community access to walking, biking, hiking, horseback riding, and more. The project builds on past work that began in the summer of 2021 as part of a bigger effort to restore the entire 80-acre nature area.
Read a local press release on the project

Naturescape Play and Outdoor Education Project

$199,220 grant to Montrose County

With its Resilient Communities grant, Montrose County and History Colorado’s Ute Indian Museum developed a nature-based play structure and outdoor education features on the state-owned museum campus. The project increases community vitality with new outdoor facilities, provides equitable access to the historical complexity of the community, and engages multiple generations in outdoor museum play and learning experiences. In addition, a connector trail was developed between the museum and the Uncompahgre Riverway Trail to provide access to the site from the nearby community recreation center.
Learn more about the Ute Indian Museum

North Fruita Desert New Trail Construction

$24,438 grant to City of Fruita

With its Conservation Service Corps grant, the City of Fruita employed a Western Colorado Conservation Corps crew to build four miles of new trail at the North Fruita Desert Special Recreation Management Area. During four weeks of work, crews cut new trail surfaces on routes using sustainable design practices. Crews also received training and support from the City of Fruita, the Bureau of Land Management, the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Association, and Mesa County Public Health. This trail work was identified as a high priority in the 2019 ‘North Fruita Desert Master Plan.’
Read the Master Plan

Riverbend Park Riparian Restoration

$13,584 grant to Town of Palisade 

The Town of Palisade used its Conservation Corps grant to hire a Western Colorado Conservation Corps crew to remove invasive plant species at Riverbend Park. As part of the Riverbend Park Riparian Restoration Project, crews worked for two weeks removing tamarisk and Russian Olive along the Colorado River. The invasive plants inhibited river access, crowded out native vegetation, and posed a potential wildfire threat to this popular multi-use park. This project was part of a continued effort to address re-growth and maintain work that began in 2020.
Read a local press release on the project

Russian Olive Removal and Habitat Restoration Project

$43,050 grant to City of Lakewood 

With a Conservation Service Corps grant, the City of Lakewood hired a Mile High Youth Corps crew for Russian olive removal at the Bear Creek Greenbelt open space. For five weeks, crews removed the invasive plant from 10 acres and helped restore areas impacted by the removal. They improved the water quality at the site by planting willow stakes and native vegetation, removing invasive weeds, and installing fencing around the restored areas. This project was part of the multi-year effort to protect and restore wildlife habitat while improving the publically accessible 350-acre open space. 
Learn more about the Bear Creek Greenbelt

Sacramento Creek Ranch and Pika Trail Resource Protection and Stewardship

$16,616 grant to Mountain Area Land Trust 

Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) used its Conservation Corps grant to employ Southwest Conservation Corps- Los Valles crews for stewardship work at Sacramento Creek Ranch and Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area.  Located outside of Fairplay, the two sites host environmental education programs, high alpine research, and provide access to public trails on properties and lands owned by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Crews removed invasive species, performed trail maintenance, managed beaver ponds for water flow, and created a drainage system in the parking lot of the Pika Trailhead. They also removed hazardous dead and diseased trees impacted by dwarf mistletoe and created a natural seating area with repurposed trees and stumps.
Learn more about MALT

Schutt Wetlands Conservation Easement

$127,000 grant to Crested Butte Land Trust 

With the help of a GOCO Land Acquisition grant, Crested Butte Land Trust acquired a conservation easement to permanently conserve a privately owned 107-acre property adjacent to the town of Crested Butte (pictured above). The project protects critical wetlands, open grasslands used for grazing, and a significant stretch of the Slate River. It’s is one of the last undeveloped large open spaces separating the Town of Crested Butte and neighborhoods to the south. The land provides habitat for nesting birds, fish, and big game species, and can be viewed by the public from State Highway 135 and several other public recreational trails. Public access opportunities include a cross-country ski trail as well as a pedestrian trail that is still in the planning phase.
Read a local press release on the project

ShurView Site Public Access Preparation

$160,650 grant to City of Greeley 

The City of Greeley and the Trust for Public Land used its Conservation Service Corps grant to hire Weld County Youth Conservation Corps crews for 19 weeks to prepare the 1000-acre Shurview property for public access and use. Crews worked on weed control and mapping, erosion control, debris clean-up, fence installation, trail preparation, and other improvements before it became publicly accessible. The project allowed crew members to gain skills in GIS mapping, weed identification, weather, erosion control, site planning, and community engagement.
Read the press release