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 31 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. 

Last month, eight projects wrapped up, representing $674,617 in GOCO investments into local communities across the state. Scroll to see if one’s near you:

Casey Jones Park Campground Expansion

$150,000 grant to Elizabeth Park and Recreation District

Casey Jones Park has been a fixture of the Elizabeth community since 1987. With a Resilient Communities grant, Elizabeth Park and Recreation District improved the park’s campground. Funding supported the installation of a leach field (underground facility used to dispose of wastewater) and direct sewer connections to campsites. A new camping area was added, and all previous camping site pads were re-graded and resurfaced. In addition, three sites located underneath overhead powerlines were relocated for camper safety, and new wayfinding signage was installed throughout the campground. Lastly, a new emergency access point was added at the north end of the campground and the park roadway was widened and resurfaced.
Learn more about Casey Jones Park

Fire Mitigation Project

$41,100 grant to City of Lakewood

The City of Lakewood used its Conservation Service Corps (CSC) grant to further its Open Space Fire Mitigation Plan in the Green Mountain neighborhood. The City partnered with Mile High Youth Corps to create a 20-foot buffer along neighbor property lines that intersected with the City’s open space area. Crews removed brush, shrubs, dead trees, noxious weeds, and trees under six inches to reduce fuel on approximately 10 acres of Ravines Open Space. This project protects residential and community structures that neighbor the dense city open space area in the event of a wildfire.  
Learn more about our CSC program

Garfield County Outdoor’s Nature Trail and Greenhouse at Grand Valley Middle School

$69,950 grant to Garfield County

With Generation Wild funding, Garfield County Outdoors partnered with Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers and Rocky Mountain Youth Corps crews to create a nature trail and greenhouse (pictured above) at Grand Valley Middle School. Crews created the trail along the outer edge of the school district property and collaborated with students and teachers for the design and construction of the greenhouse.

As the primary gardeners, students are responsible for upkeep and consult with kitchen staff and gardening experts on what plants to grow. This project supports wellness in students and provides hands-on learning related to the school’s science and math curriculum. The greenhouse also supports the school kitchen, staff training, the school’s composting program, and a farm-to-school program.
Learn more about Garfield County Outdoors

Managing Growth on CO’s Front Range

$74,642 grant to Clear Creek County

Clear Creek County used its Planning and Capacity GOCO grant to support the Northern Colorado People, Land, Access, Conservation, Ecosystems, Sustainability (NoCo) PLACES 2050 partnership spanning multiple counties and including many organizations and partners. This funding was used for the collaborative’s establishment and for partners to identify ways to change public land management and secure the support of Colorado’s Governor and congressional delegation. The partnership developed a regional “All Lands Master Plan” for unified management of local, state, and federal public lands to meet growing user demands across the region for the next 30 years. 
Learn more about NoCo Places 2050

Parking & Trailhead Enhancements for COVID Compliance & Capacity

$250,000 grant to Grand County

With its Resilient Communities grant, Grand County partnered with Headwaters Trails Alliance (HTA) to improve trailheads at 15 locations throughout the county. Trails were impacted by increased use during the pandemic and multiple large wildfires and catastrophic wind events. HTA crews made improvements across the locations by expanding trailheads, hardening and re-grading trail surfaces, installing interpretive signage, and establishing kiosks with COVID protocol information, bear-proof trash receptacles, bike racks, portable toilets, and more. 
Learn more about HTA

Pinyon Mesa Headwaters Restoration Project, Year 3

$37,900 grant to Colorado West Land Trust

Colorado West Land Trust(CWLT) used its Conservation Service Corps grant to partner with Western Colorado Conservation Corps (WCCC) crews to work on the multi-year Pinyon Mesa Headwaters Restoration Project. Crews removed 1.7 miles of fence, applied native grass seeds, and removed invasive vegetation from 21 acres of river corridors and meadows to enrich wildlife habitat and continue the restoration of Pinyon Mesa Headwaters.

The project is a collaboration between CWLT, Mountain Island Ranch, Trout Unlimited, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Rivers Edge West focused on landscape-level watershed restoration and habitat enhancement on conserved properties and Bureau of Land Management lands. 
Read a local press release on the project

Sheridan Inspire Quincy Trail

$25,000 Grant to City of Sheridan and Sheridan Inspire

With Generation Wild Funding, Sheridan Inspire improved the Sheridan Quincy Trail located between the busy Federal Boulevard and Irving Street. Project improvements included native plant restoration and the construction of green infrastructure to control water flooding. This project created a natural and accessible space for community members, providing a safe, non-motorized alternative in a transportation corridor connecting Sheridan residents to home, school, and work. In addition, students in the Fort Logan Northgate worked with community volunteers to help plant native shrubs. This project protected natural resources, provided habitat for native birds and animals, increased awareness about the need for natural resource conservation, and provided students with leadership skill development opportunities. 
Learn more about Sheridan Inspire

2023 Eagle Area Collaborative Stewardship Projects

$26,025 grant to Town of Eagle

With a Conservation Service Corps grant, the Town of Eagle partnered with Rocky Mountain Youth Corps crews to address priorities outlined in their 2022 Open Space and Trails master plan. Over three weeks, crews removed 2.25 miles of unmaintained fence, reduced fuel loads and noxious weeds across 30 acres, and maintained 3.1 miles of fencing. They also performed campsite cleanup and improvements on 520 acres of land and inventoried andor closed 1.9 miles of user-made ‘social trails.’
Read the Town’s Open Space and Trails Master Plan