Larimer County Wins Colorado Lottery Starburst Conservation Award

DENVER – The Colorado Lottery announced today that it has awarded Larimer County Parks and Open Lands the 2007 Starburst Conservation Award for excellence in the acquisition of a key open space property. The Laramie Foothills Mountains to Plains used more than $11.6 million in Lottery funds to help pay for the $23.4 million project.

The Laramie Foothills Mountains to Plains piece recognized with the Starburst Award conserves more than 55,400 acres in the Laramie Foothills, creating a mountains-to-plains corridor of protected lands between the Front Range and the prairie. The entire project protects more than 140,000 acres, including 70,000 acres of protected private land and 70,000 acres of public land. It is recognized as the last place north of the Greenland Ranch in Douglas County, also protected with Lottery dollars, where there is a connection between the mountains and the plains to create a wildlife habitat and scenic corridor of this size and magnitude.

The project received a Lottery funded Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Legacy Grant in the amount of $11,604,000, which was used to acquire the land. GOCO receives up to half of Lottery proceeds. GOCO’s mission is to preserve, protect, enhance and manage the state’s wildlife, park, river, trail and open space heritage.

“This is a tremendously ambitious project,” said Tom Kitts, Deputy Director of the Colorado Lottery. “It will help preserve the heritage of Colorado for generations to come.”

The Colorado Lottery Starburst Awards recognize excellence in the use of Lottery proceeds for projects that promote community-building, partnership, conservation and commitment to the recreational needs of Colorado residents.  They were judged by Lottery management, the Colorado Lottery Commission and a representative of the more than 2,900 retailers who sell Lottery tickets.

Proceeds from the Colorado Lottery’s games - Scratch, Lotto, Powerball and Cash 5 - stay in Colorado to improve the quality of life in the state. In Fiscal Year 2007, more than $117 million was returned to Colorado. Since the lottery started in 1983, more than $1.9 billion has been returned to the state.

The Lottery proceeds are distributed to three primary beneficiaries: Great Outdoors Colorado, Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado State Parks. These organizations then provide grants and direct funding for parks, recreation, open space acquisition, trails, wildlife and conservation education.

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September 11, 2007
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