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GOCO awards $200,000 in grants to invest in future of Colorado land conservation

Friday, September 29, 2017 -- GOCO
September 29, 2017

Contact:   Rosemary Dempsey, 303-226-4530, rdempsey@goco.org or

         Laura Cardon, 303-226-4531, lcardon@goco.org

DENVER - Today the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board awarded $200,000 in conservation excellence grants, funding three projects that will advance land conservation efforts and best practices across the state.

GOCO’s conservation excellence grant program funds research and pilot projects that improve industry standards and tackle industry-wide issues for land conservation in Colorado.

The Land Trust Alliance was awarded a $92,600 grant to mentor seven Colorado land trusts in adopting the community conservation model; Palmer Land Trust in Colorado Springs was awarded $60,750 to launch its Generation Leadership Project; and Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) was awarded $46,650 to survey Lake County to inform decisions regarding trail building, water management, and other natural resource protection and management.

As traditional supporters of land trust organizations age, the conservation community has turned its focus to attracting new, younger generations of advocates and more effectively engaging the communities in which these organizations work. LTA and Palmer Land Trust will both invest GOCO funds in these purposes, redefining how land trust work connects to what Coloradans treasure.

These projects, along with CNHP’s survey in Lake County, will have significant statewide impact on how land is managed for people and wildlife as well as how communities are engaged in preserving Colorado’s heritage and way of life.

Funded projects are as follows:

Advancing Community Conservation Work at Colorado Land Trusts, $92,600 grant to the Land Trust Alliance

LTA will invest GOCO funding in furthering its community conservation work with seven land trust organizations in Colorado. Each land trust was chosen after attending a previous community conservation workshop, and the Alliance has designed an 18-month program to continue those learning efforts. The land trusts will reconvene, take online courses, and receive continued mentoring to expand community conservation efforts in each of their localities, sharing their experiences with other land trusts in the state, the region, and across the country. More than half of the GOCO grant will be used for subgrants for land trusts to put their community conservation ideas into action.

Generation Leadership, $60,750 grant to Palmer Land Trust

GOCO funding will help Palmer Land Trust launch its Generation Leadership Project, an effort  to engage Generation X and Millennials who use public lands but often aren’t involved in the conservation of them. Generation Leadership aims to cultivate and empower the next generation of land conservation advocates, moving urgent conservation projects forward and ensuring the future of conservation in southern Colorado.

Survey of Critical Biological Resources in Lake County, CO, $46,650 grant to CNHP

CNHP, a research unit at CSU, will put GOCO funds to work conducting a biological survey that will inform best practices for land conservation and natural resource protection and management. Lake County has not been thoroughly surveyed for critical natural resources, so important land management decisions are being made without current data. This project sets the stage for successful collaborations that will lead to informed conservation of Lake County and central Colorado’s wealth of natural resources.

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 5,000 projects in all 64 counties of Colorado without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.