DENVER – The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board awarded $432,000 in grants to fund eight plans for anticipated projects and initiatives in eight different counties across the state.
Projects will help communities create site plans for two parks, a trail, and create strategic plans to make comprehensive improvements for outdoor amenities, including development plans for public open space. Six out of the eight funded projects were awarded to communities with populations of 2,500 or less and/or average incomes well below the state average.
GOCO’s planning grants help local governments gather public input, evaluate conditions, and develop strategic plans to meet the outdoor recreation needs of Colorado communities. Only local governments are eligible to apply for the grants, which have a limit of $75,000, and applicants must provide at least 25% of the total project cost in matching funds.
Planning grant details are as follows:
City of Delta Parks and Recreation Master Plan, $75,000 grant to the City of Delta
With GOCO funding, the City of Delta will be able to hire a professional consultant to coordinate an extensive public input and stakeholder engagement process driving the development of its first master plan. The master plan will help parks and recreation staff members balance opportunities for expansion with ongoing maintenance needs of existing facilities with key partners’ input.
Colorado River Access and Recreation Improvement Planning, $75,000 grant to the Town of Parachute
The Town of Parachute will invest GOCO funding in a planning process that will explore recreation opportunities and ecological improvements in and along the Colorado River. The project will provide a comprehensive examination of various improvements that can be made to the Colorado River to both enhance its environmental sustainability and create opportunities for outdoor recreation and public access.
Cozens Ranch Open Space Fraser River Corridor Master Plan, $65,000 grant to the Town of Fraser
GOCO funding will help the town the Town of Fraser to create a master plan for the Fraser River corridor. The project will assist with research on the impact of recreation on the 120-acre Cozens Ranch Open Space. The master plan will also address the potential for environmental education opportunities and lay the groundwork for habitat restoration on the Fraser River.
Kane Ranch Open Space Master Plan, $30,000 grant to El Paso County
El Paso County develop a master plan for the 495-acre Kane Ranch Open Space located just east of the City of Fountain. With the help of GOCO funding, the master plan will outline existing conditions, reflect community feedback, and prioritize potential improvements to be made over the next five to 10 years, including new sustainable recreational facilities and cultural services.
Lake County Open Space Initiative (LCOSI) Ecosystem Management Plan, $67,000 grant to Lake County
GOCO funding will be put to work in Lake County to help the LCOSI assess the county’s open space properties as a single ecosystem and guide future actions to manage them. The updated management plan will address changing conditions of open space, new partner and community objectives, and evolving management strategies to produce an actionable management plan for long-term, county-wide use.
McNamara Park, Town of Walden, $15,000 grant to the Town of Walden
The Town of Walden will invest its GOCO grant in planning upgrades to McNamara Park, a one-acre, centrally located town park. The town’s vision for the park is to develop a design that makes it safe, attractive, and usable by residents of all ages. The planning grant will help prepare a site-specific master plan and cost estimates in order to effectively pursue upgrades to the park in the near future.
Parks, Recreation, Open Space, River, and Trails Master Plan, $75,000 grant to the City of Steamboat Springs
GOCO funding will help Steamboat Springs update its parks, recreation, open space, river, and trails master plan to assess recreational usage, needs, and impacts. Population growth and the first-ever listing of the Yampa River as a 303(d) impaired water body by the Colorado Department of Public Health created urgency for the new plan.
Site Plan - Overland Trail Recreation Area Expansion, $30,000 grant to the City of Sterling
The City of Sterling will create a site plan for Overland Trail Recreation Area with the help of GOCO funding. The project will help Sterling plan the expansion of 125 acres of river-bottom land adjacent to the South Platte River and the existing recreation area. The recreation area already offers quality outdoor recreation experiences, and the county will consider how to extend that to the rest of the area, possibly by adding a more formal trailhead and additional parking and by creating new fishing ponds with the support of Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Read this release to learn about other projects newly funded by GOCO’s local government grant program.
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.