DENVER – Today the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board awarded $520,888 in planning grants to eight projects across the state. The eight projects were chosen from an application pool of 28 projects.
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.
Projects will help communities solicit public input to determine how to build and improve parks and trails and create better pedestrian and bike access, all while balancing the need to protect wildlife habitat and natural areas.
Funded projects are as follows:
Supporting the Next 100 Coalition’s Colorado Network, $75,000 grant to Summit County
Summit County’s grant will help create a plan for the Next 100 Coalition’s Colorado Network. Six organizations in the coalition – Big City Mountaineers, cityWILD, Continental Divide Trail Coalition, Environmental Learning for Kids, Hispanic Access Foundation, and Protégete – are based in or have a presence in Colorado. These core members have joined with several dozen other organizations in Colorado to work towards policies and programs that drive diversity, equity, and inclusion in parks, public lands, and the outdoor industries.
Keystone Policy Center will work with Colorado coalition members to create a statewide asset map of organizations working on diversity and inclusion in the outdoors, establish the overall vision for the Colorado Network, and facilitate planning to put three statewide projects into action over the next year, effectively growing and activating a committed Colorado coalition.
Cal‐Wood Lodge Renovation Planning Project, $36,150 grant to Boulder County
Boulder County’s grant will help address how to add physical capacity to the lodge at Cal-Wood in Jamestown. Cal-Wood provides outdoor and environmental education experiences for Colorado youth and their families. Cal-Wood secured the services of George Watt Architecture in September 2018; the firm will provide a schematic design, design development, construction documents, permitting submittals, and process administration, among other services.
The vision for the lodge includes an 800-square foot addition to the dining hall that will seat 50 additional students. The addition of a well-stocked, organized gear closet will help Cal-Wood break down barriers for low-income youth and families to participate in outdoor adventure. The project also aims to decrease Cal-Wood’s carbon footprint.
Estes Valley Open Space and Outdoor Recreation Plan, $66,000 grant to Town of Estes Park
The Town of Estes Park, in partnership with Estes Valley Land Trust, received a planning grant to create the Estes Valley Open Space and Outdoor Recreation Plan, outlining ideas for conserving land and wildlife habitat near Rocky Mountain National Park. The project will bring together local conservation and recreation groups, local government, federal government, and other interest groups to define conservation and outdoor recreation success for Estes Valley over the next 20 years. Specific goals of the plan are to develop a set of open space and outdoor recreation priorities that drive decision making on spending conservation and recreation-related public funding, and to create maps that show high-priority conservation areas as well as outdoor recreation land priorities.
Park and Recreation Master Plan Update, $75,000 grant to City of Fort Collins
The City of Fort Collins’ planning grant will help the city produce an updated, comprehensive master plan to serve as the guiding document for the development of a growing parks and recreation system. The plan aims to provide vision, goals, and clear objectives to ensure the system serves the community’s needs. The plan will identify existing and needed facilities; build out strategy, design standards, and guidelines; set park design process; consider special interest group requests; assess funding sources; and establish key metrics for implementation.
Project Wild Nature Connection Research, $72,488 grant to City of Lafayette
This planning grant for the City of Lafayette will help Nature Kids/Jóvenes de la Naturaleza (NKJN), a $10 million collective impact project funded in part by GOCO’s Generation Wild program, conduct a youth-and-nature research study to assess the effect of nature-based learning and activities on the outcomes of children in primary and secondary school settings. Researchers will produce a publishable, mixed methods analysis of evidence-based research results that can be shared with and replicated by other communities and organizations. NKJN is the largest community scale project in the country connecting youth to nature and the outdoors.
Town of Carbondale Aquatic Facility Master Plan, $56,250 grant to Town of Carbondale
The GOCO planning grant awarded to the Town of Carbondale will help the town hire a consultant to produce an aquatic facility master plan. This master plan will help garner community-wide support for either the renovation or replacement of the John M. Fleet Pool, the municipal pool that is more than 50 years old.
Using public outreach and public opinion data, planners will aim to create a comprehensive master plan guided by the community’s collective vision about the desired pool’s amenities, design, and location. The plan will also address funding and cost scenarios, operations and maintenance considerations, a fundraising plan, and financial feasibility analyses.
Fruita Parks, Health, Recreation, Open Space and Trails Master Plan, $65,000 grant to City of Fruita
Fruita’s planning grant will help the city create an updated master plan to meet the changing needs of the community. Nearly 10 years have passed since Fruita adopted its current Parks, Open Space and Trails Master Plan. The 2019 Master Plan process will engage the community as the city examines existing conditions of its outdoor recreation assets and recreation programming. The city will identify needs for additional trails, parks, and open space areas and will research additional recreational opportunities and amenities.
Managing Growth on Colorado’s Front Range Mountains, $75,000 grant to Clear Creek County
Clear Creek County received a GOCO grant in support of the NOCO PLACES 2050 partnership. Short for Northern Colorado People, Land, Access, Conservation, Ecosystems, Sustainability, NOCO PLACES includes Boulder, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Jefferson and Larimer Counties; Colorado Parks and Wildlife; the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests (ARNF); the National Park Service; and business, nonprofit and environmental communities. The partnership formed to develop 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.
This work will include local recreation and natural resource stewardship plans at a county level, a regional recreation and natural resource stewardship plan that includes the ARNF, and a forest plan update for the ARNF. These plans will include strategies to share in the management, infrastructure- development, and maintenance of public lands for better and more efficient stewardship of natural resources and public lands.