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GOCO awards $5.5M for community parks, outdoor recreation projects

Thursday, March 23, 2017 -- GOCO
March 23, 2017

DENVER – The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board awarded $5.5 million in funding for 27 projects across the state today.

Grants were awarded from GOCO’s local parks and outdoor recreation (LPOR) grant program and the mini grant program for LPOR projects with total budgets of $60,000 or less.

Funded projects will update aging parks and playgrounds, connect Coloradans to the outdoors with improved pedestrian and bike access, and will serve more than a dozen rural and underserved communities.

In total, GOCO funding will:

  • Invest in 22 counties in Colorado.
  • Leverage just over $6 million in local matching dollars.
  • Improve six town parks and five school facilities.
  • Build seven nature-themed play areas.

Grant details are as follows:

2017 Pickleball Court Project, $108,000 grant to the City of Cortez

Cortez residents of all ages are rapidly picking up pickleball, a game that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong and is widely regarded as the fastest-growing sport in the nation. GOCO funding will enable the City of Cortez to build six new courts in Centennial Park. to expand programming opportunities and playing time for pickleball players, who have raised $3,000 for the new courts themselves.

Alisha Adkins Memorial 4-H Park Playground Upgrade, $18,000 grant to Jackson County

In partnership with Jackson County 4-H, the county will invest GOCO funding in upgrading the Alisha Adkins Memorial 4-H Park just outside of Walden by replacing the aged, wooden playground structure with new equipment and safety surfacing. The park has been a popular destination for Jackson County children and families for more than 20 years, and its proximity to the Jerelin Wattenberg Center at the Jackson County Fairgrounds make it a recreation retreat for those participating in livestock shows and other community events.

Basham Park Revitalization Project, $45,000 grant to the City of Creede

GOCO funding will help the City of Creede upgrade Basham Park, replacing the currently damaged gazebo with an improved structure, transforming unsafe gravel paths with stone pavers, and providing a more welcoming gathering place for local school district activities, classes, science camps and summer day camps, and a range of other community events.

Centennial Park Tennis/Pickleball Court Project 2017, $240,000 grant to the City of Salida

In Salida, the Peak to Peak Pickleball Club and Salida Tennis Club have teamed up, raising $10,000 to renovate aging tennis courts to accommodate both highly popular sports. GOCO funding will restripe the courts in addition to installing windscreens, a practice backboard, and basic amenities like restrooms and parking. The courts will be the first public courts in an area where facilities are in high demand.

Charmar Park Renovation, $319,760 grant to the City of Gunnison

GOCO funding will upgrade Charmar Park in Gunnison, one of the oldest and most popular parks in Gunnison County. The City of Gunnison County will invest GOCO funding in updating the playground, opening up access to the creek, adding a nature trail, and building five pickleball courts at the three-acre park.

Chipeta Park Improvement Project, $45,000 grant to the Town of Poncha Springs

The Town of Poncha Springs will invest GOCO funding to upgrade Chipeta Park, the most popular park in Poncha Springs that is  part of a broader vision to create an inviting “Town Square” area for residents. Chipeta Park equipment has not been updated in over 30 years, and the GOCO grant will improve the playground and add basketball and pickleball nets, disc golf baskets, a bike rack, benches, and other features.

Falcon Dog Park, $45,000 grant to El Paso County

GOCO funding will help build a dog park at Falcon Regional Park after more than 70% of area residents selected a dog park as their top priority during the master planning process.  The 10-acre property will provide space for residents, visitors, and dogs to exercise and socialize, and the county hopes to reduce off-leash or uncontrolled dogs running loose in regional and neighborhood parks. Falcon Dog Park will be the first public dog park in central/eastern El Paso County.

Glenwood Springs Elementary Play and Outdoor Learning Spaces, $147,177 grant to the City of Glenwood Springs

The city and Glenwood Springs Elementary School have teamed up to revitalize the school’s playground, conveniently located downtown. The GOCO grant will install play equipment and an outdoor learning space to benefit students as well as families living nearby. Over 150 students were involved in the master planning process, presenting their ideas to the Roaring Fork School’s executive team and board members.

Hot Sulphur Springs Revitalization Project, $153,876 grant to the Town of Hot Sulphur Springs

Hot Sulphur Springs will invest its GOCO grant to improve two parks in town. At Pioneer Park, GOCO funding will improve campgrounds, update the aging disc golf course, and repair trail bridges.

Town Park is Hot Sulphur Springs’ most popular park, and GOCO funds will update the playground, athletic facilities, barbeque pit, and sprinkler system in addition to adding shade and other landscaping. GOCO funding will repair skating rink infrastructure, add sand to the volleyball court, and resurface tennis and basketball courts.

Las Animas School Multi-Purpose Field and Outdoor Learning Environment, $198,693 grant to the City of Las Animas

GOCO funding will help the City of Las Animas revamp to middle school’s outdoor campus, transforming an unusable sticker patch into a recreational hub for students and the community. The project will also leverage Colorado Health Foundation funds to build a walking path and the first playground equipment at the middle school, while the GOCO grant will focus on creating opportunities for outdoor learning while mitigating irrigation issues on the field.

Little Salt Wash Park Expansion, $135,000 grant to the City of Fruita

GOCO funding will help the City of Fruita acquire property that has remained a private in-holding in the middle of Little Salt Wash Park for the last 40 years. The park is often overcrowded and greatly needs room to grow. The $135,000 GOCO grant will enable the city to seize this opportunity to purchase the five-acre property, ultimately expanding one of Fruita’s most popular parks.

Memorial Park Bridge Project, $73,200 grant to the Town of Silverton

The Town of Silverton will put GOCO funding to work to rebuild the pedestrian bridges accessing Memorial Park. Both bridges have been condemned and closed to the public, leaving park goers no choice but to attempt to access the park by walking down Highway 550. The GOCO grant will enable the town to replace the decades-old bridges with longer-lasting, safe bridges that give the public better access to the popular park.

Mountain View Adventure Park, $224,061 grant to the City of Cripple Creek

Cripple Creek will invest its GOCO grant in creating Mountain View Adventure Park on a property the city dedicated to parks development five years ago. The project will build several miles of trail, a disc golf course, sledding hill, adventure playground, dog park, BMX track, and picnic shelter in addition to installing infrastructure like parking and benches.

Nature Play, Adaptive Sports, and Habitat Enhancement at Broomfield Open Lands, $350,000 grant to the City and County of Broomfield

GOCO funding will help Broomfield build a 15-acre nature play and education facility accessible by children and adults of all ages and social, physical, and intellectual abilities. The park overlooks McKay Lake and will include nature play features constructed of natural materials that can be used by children and families and create a close-to-home space to connect with nature.

North Conejos Activity Complex, $350,000 grant to Conejos County

Conejos County partnered with the North Conejos School District to invest GOCO funding to construct a Colorado High School Activities Association-sanctioned track, replacing the original dirt track installed in the 1960s. Students played an important role in the planning process, engaging in math, science, and writing assignments to design and voice support for the track.

Nottingham Park, $350,000 grant to the Town of Avon

Nottingham Park is surrounded by thousands of year-round residents and the Town of Avon will put GOCO funding to work improving its most heavily-used two acres. The project will replace a 20-year-old playground that no longer meets safety codes with both traditional and nature-themed play equipment and will relocate the existing bike path to improve the park’s traffic flow and decrease conflicts between playground users and bicyclists passing through.

Oxbow Park, $350,000 grant to the Town of Breckenridge

The Town of Breckenridge will invest its GOCO grant to add the first amenities to Oxbow Park, which is adjacent to housing for hundreds of year-round residents. The project design was spearheaded by children and their families and will create new access to the Blue River with a kids fishing hole; install natural play elements like rocks, boulders, and rope structures; and build a new bridge over the river to connect the park to surrounding trails.

Palisade Skate Park Phase I Build, $150,000 grant to the Town of Palisade

Palisade will put GOCO funding  to work at the town’s skate park. The vision for the park took shape through an extensive planning process previously funded by GOCO. Local high school and middle school students helped design the park, incorporating their own artwork into the project and fundraising for the project. The new park will cater to skaters of all skill levels, demolishing the 20-year-old skate park and building a concrete bowl along with other skate features, benches, and landscaping.

Peetz School Playground Project, $195,000 grant to the Town of Peetz

The playground equipment at Peetz Elementary School is decades old and showing its age. Though unsafe and past its useful life, the playground still serves as a community hub for recreation and social gatherings. GOCO funding will help install new, engaging playground equipment based on design wish lists from students at the school. Construction is slated to finish by the end of the summer.

Pine River Library Park, $255,000 grant to the Town of Bayfield

Bayfield has partnered with the Pine River Library to turn under-utilized space into an engaging, ADA-accessible park for youth. The library already serves as a hub for young people with extensive before- and after-school programming.

The project will construct a nature-themed playground, a picnic area, a multi-purpose court for sports, an outdoor classroom, two shade structures, pedestrian bridges, and an irrigated turf field.

Routt County Fairground Improvements, $350,000 grant to Routt County

The county fairgrounds in Hayden will get a $350,000 boost from GOCO to enhance ADA-accessibility, improve pedestrian traffic patterns, build a pedestrian bridge, add a sand volleyball court, and add nine full-service RV campsites. The fairgrounds are an important regional asset, serving 33,000 people each year.

South Park Baseball and Soccer Fields, $350,000 grant to the South Park Park and Rec District

South Park Park and Recreation District will invest the school district’s soccer and baseball fields with GOCO funding. The project will upgrade the fields to comply with Colorado High School Activities Association and Little League regulations, meaning players will no longer have to travel over 50 miles for games and practices.

Surface Creek Trail Improvement, Connection, and Extension, $28,000 grant to the Town of Cedaredge

GOCO funding will help the Town of Cedaredge carry out the first phase of an effort to improve and extend Surface Creek Trail. The trail, which is already popular with residents, will be extended and widened, and drainage improvements will increase the trail’s safety and year-round usability. Hazardous trees will be mitigated and uneven surfaces repaired.

Town Park Playground Renovation Project, $349,241 grant to the Town of Crested Butte

A historical shipwreck discovered by Crested Butte divers is the inspiration for Mary Yelenick Playground at the Crested Butte Town Park, but after 30 years the “Splinter Ship” is ready for an upgrade. The playground’s design will include an authentic replica of the Whydah, a real pirate ship that sank in 1717, and will be ADA-accessible.

Venezia Park Universally Accessible Playground, $350,000 grant to the City of Colorado Springs

The City of Colorado Springs’ project at Venezia Park will be part of the first new park construction in 25 years in the city, bringing southern residents their first universally accessible playground. The GOCO grant will build a one-of-a-kind playground where every piece of equipment is accessible by the 70,000 Colorado Springs residents with physical, emotional, or cognitive disabilities.

Wallace Park Gazebo, $45,000 grant to the City of Victor

The City of Victor will put GOCO funding to work to add a gazebo to Wallace Park, the central gathering place for the city’s outdoor events. Of the city’s 400 residents, 90% live within a walkable distance to the park, which currently has no sheltered picnic areas. The new gazebo will match the local Victorian architectural style and accommodate eight picnic tables, offering residents the ability to host outdoor community and private events.

Westminster Station Park, $350,000 grant to the City of Westminster

GOCO funding will help the City of Westminster build a new park next to the station serving RTD’s B-Line commuter rail. The project will build a nature-based playground with a water play area, connect to the regional Little Dry Creek Trail, add pedestrian access near the creek, and install basic amenities such as lighting, landscaping, and restrooms at the 33-acre park.

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 4,900 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.