The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board awarded two grants totaling $218,876 on Thursday to Grand County projects. The Town of Hot Sulphur Springs received a $153,876 local parks and outdoor recreation grant for part of its parks revitalization project, and the Town of Fraser received a $65,000 planning grant to develop a master plan for the Fraser River corridor within Cozens Ranch open space.

Hot Sulphur Springs will invest its GOCO grant to improve Town Park and Pioneer Park, which is operated in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife as a state wildlife area. GOCO funds will improve campgrounds at Pioneer Park by replacing picnic tables and fire rings, providing a source of potable water, and installing an information kiosk. The project will also update the aging disc golf course and repair trail bridges. Town Park is Hot Sulphur Springs’ most popular park, and GOCO funds will update the playground, athletic facilities, barbeque pit, and sprinkler system in addition to adding shade and other landscaping.

The project will upgrade playground surfacing to be ADA-compliant and add natural play features like logs and boulders. GOCO funding will also repair skating rink infrastructure, add sand to the volleyball court, and resurface tennis and basketball courts. To achieve this, the town partnered with Grand County and the Hot Sulphur Days Committee and leveraged its annual allotment from the Conservation Trust Fund (another Colorado Lottery beneficiary) to contribute more than $51,000 of local matching funds to the project.

The town aims to have both parks’ renovations complete by the end of 2018. In Fraser, the town will invest GOCO funding to create a master plan for the Fraser River corridor. GOCO planning grants help local governments gather public input, evaluate conditions, and develop strategic plans to meet the outdoor recreation needs of Colorado communities. Fraser will use the $65,000 planning grant to 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. The work will be coordinated with the town’s ongoing downtown strategic planning effort and is led by a variety of partners, including the town, Grand County, Headwaters Trails Alliance, and Trout Unlimited. The project will help protect the Fraser River, an environmental asset to the area and important amenity for tourists and locals alike.

To date, GOCO has invested $14.2 million in Grand County projects and has conserved nearly 15,000 acres of land there. GOCO funding has supported the Fraser River Pedestrian Bridge, the Kremmling ice rink, and the Fraser Valley Sports Complex, among other projects. 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.

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