Grant money to connect local families with the great outdoors
The Great Outdoors Colorado board awarded a $1,393,955.50 grant to the City of Colorado Springs and its Out the Door! Pikes Peak coalition for the group’s work to get youth outdoors. The grant is part of GOCO’s Inspire Initiative, which aims to connect families with the great outdoors. Out the Door! Pikes Peak is one of several coalitions in Colorado working to address specific community barriers keeping youth from getting outside.
“Out the Door! Pikes Peak coalition has been developing plans for the past two years to serve residents in the Hillside neighborhood and help youth and their families enjoy the outdoors. This grant will help us put those plans into action.” said Tilah Larson, senior grants analyst for the City’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. Out the Door! has identified the community’s primary barriers to getting outside as lack of time, gear and familiarity with outdoor spaces and programs, as well as transportation.
Approximately half of the GOCO Inspire funds will be used to make improvements to Prospect Lake Nature District at Memorial Park. The Prospect Lake Beach House will be renovated to serve as a launching area for outdoor activities and include an information center and gear library. At Fountain Park, a bike park will be built to include a paved skills course and bike demonstration area. Outdoor education will be integrated into School District 11 and the Prospect Lake Beach House and Hillside Community Center will serve as programming hubs. Out the Door! Pikes Peak plans to create 30 youth and community job opportunities and impact more than 3,800 youth through these improvements and programming plans.
The Out the Door! Pikes Peak coalition includes the City of Colorado Springs, School District 11, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Mile High Youth Corps, Kids on Bikes, Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Catamount Institute, Fountain Creek Watershed District, North Cheyenne Canon and Garden of the Gods Interpretive Programming, UpaDowna, and YMCA/LiveWell Colorado Springs, along with several community-based partners.
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance Colorado’s parks, trails, open spaces, rivers and wildlife. The GOCO board announced a total investment of $20 million in 40 projects in 28 counties following its meeting on Dec. 15. To date, GOCO has invested $51.6 million in El Paso County projects and conserved more than 8,000 acres of land. GOCO funding has supported Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Ute Valley Park, the Incline reconstruction and other projects.