In partnership with the Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA), GOCO offers funding for our partners to hire conservation service corps for outdoor recreation and natural resource stewardship projects. The GOCO board currently commits $1,000,000 per year to the program and another $500,000 through GOCO’s investment in Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

CYCA is a statewide coalition of eight accredited conservation service corps that employ and train youth, young adults, and veterans (typically ages 14–25). Through their work, corps members understand and address stewardship issues facing Colorado, including water conservation, land use, fire danger, and the impact of invasive species. Young people also contribute to their communities and gain job readiness and leadership skills that prepare them for future careers in the natural resource sector. In addition, most corps members earn a stipend for their service and an AmeriCorps education award to use toward attending college or reducing their existing student loans. CYCA-accredited corps serve more than 1,700 participants each year.

Conservation service corps crews complete a variety of projects, including:

  • Trail construction and maintenance
  • Tamarisk, Russian olive, and other invasive species mitigation – chainsaw crews, including pesticide/herbicide application, are available
  • Fence installation and de-construction
  • Wildlife habitat improvement
  • Riparian restoration
  • Beetle kill hazard mitigation – chainsaw crews available
  • Fire fuels mitigation – chainsaw crews available

Youth corps crews work on a “per week” basis. One week includes 8–10 people who work at least 320 hours collectively. There is no maximum grant request, but applicants must request a minimum of two weeks’ worth of work.

Who can apply

  • Colorado municipality or county
  • Title 32 special districts eligible to receive distributions from the Conservation Trust Fund
  • Political subdivision of the State of Colorado that includes in its mission the identification, acquisition, or management of open space and natural areas
  • 501(c)(3) non-profit land conservation organization that includes in its mission the identification, acquisition, or management of open space and natural areas, e.g., land trusts

We encourage collaboration. If your entity is not explicitly listed above, we can discuss options for partnership to access GOCO funding for your project.

When to apply

  • RFP available: July 15, 2021
  • Applications due to CYCA: September 2, 2021 by 4 p.m.
  • Grants awarded: December 9, 2021

Apply to this program

CYCA administers the grant on behalf of GOCO and oversees all projects, streamlining the process for grantees. All proposals must be submitted to CYCA according to instructions included in the RFP, found at www.cyca.org.

Questions? Contact CYCA’s Executive Director Scott Segerstrom at ssegerstrom@cyca.org or your regional program officer.