City of Aurora Wins Colorado Lottery Starburst Conservation Award

DENVER – The Colorado Lottery announced today that it has awarded the City of Aurora Parks & Open Space Department the 2007 Starburst Conservation Award for excellence in the management of its open space properties. The Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch used more than $70,000 in Lottery funds to help pay for the $964,000 project.

More than 20 years in the making, the Morrison Nature Center was the first public environmental education facility in Aurora, and one of only a handful in the entire metro area. The Morrison Nature Center is part of the 200-acre Star K Ranch, and serves as a learning center for visitors, providing them with information about the area’s rich history and its natural resources, wildlife, plants and ecology.

“This is a great example of utilizing Lottery funds as leverage to make something happen,” said Tom Kitts, Deputy Director of the Colorado Lottery. “The City of Aurora was able to build great public/private partnerships to create something special that has had a positive impact on the community.”

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.

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.

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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