Great Outdoors Colorado

Rosemary Dempsey, 303.226.4530, 
Diane Metzger, 303.226.4507, 
Crystal Medrano, 303.226.4522, 

DENVER- Today the GOCO board awarded a total of $592,215 to The City of Greeley, Gunnison County, Continental Divide Trail Coalition, and the National Wildlife Federation to offer fellowships for young people to prepare for careers in the outdoors. 

The grants are part of GOCO’s fellowship program, which funds two-year positions at select organizations for young people of diverse backgrounds to gain experience in the fields of conservation, outdoor recreation, and stewardship, while addressing organizational needs. GOCO and its partners aim to reduce barriers to careers in the outdoors and positively introduce young people to the compelling and rewarding benefits of this exciting line of work. 

The grants are the second round of funding GOCO has awarded for fellowships, following last year’s inaugural round

Projects include: 

$143,000 grant to the City of Greeley 

The grant will support the City of Greeley in hiring a fellow in the Natural Areas & Trails (NAT) division of its culture, parks & recreation department. The fellow will partner with NAT staff and community stakeholders to help move major initiatives forward, including the land acquisition and community visioning and engagement effort for the Shurview property project, as well as a dedicated open space ballot measure in the near future. 

$150,000 grant to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition 

The grant will support the Continental Divide Trail Coalition in hiring a fellow focused on the completion, promotion, and protection of the Continental Divide Scenic Trail, over 700 miles of trail which runs through Colorado. The fellow will work on projects that grow a diverse trail community; provide up-to-date information to the public; and encourage the stewardship of the trail, its corridor, and surrounding landscapes. This will involve building stronger relationships with communities adjacent to the trail, volunteers, government organizations, and tribal communities. 

$150,000 grant to Gunnison County 

The grant will support Gunnison County’s Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation (STOR) Committee in partnership with Western Colorado University’s Center for Public Lands in hiring a fellow to work on cutting-edge recreation initiatives that strengthen the resiliency of the community and address pressing social and ecological challenges. 

$149,215 grant to the National Wildlife Federation 

The grant will support the National Wildlife Federation in hiring a fellow focused on efforts to incorporate ‘nearby nature’ and the benefits of daily interactions with the outdoors into the lives of Denver Metro area residents and communities. The fellow will also help infuse the climate, health, and economic benefits of green infrastructure in an area that has been historically marginalized. 

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 5,500 projects in all 64 counties of Colorado without any tax dollar support. Visit for more information.