El PASO COUNTY WINS COLORADO LOTTERY STARBURST CONSERVATION AWARD FOR PINERIES OPEN SPACE MASTER PLAN

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El PASO COUNTY WINS COLORADO LOTTERY STARBURST CONSERVATION AWARD FOR PINERIES OPEN SPACE MASTER PLAN

DENVER, September 20, 2011The Colorado Lottery has awarded a 2011 Starburst Conservation Award to El Paso County for using Lottery funds to develop the Pineries Open Space Master Plan, a 1067-acre regional park/open space area in the Black Forest community.El Paso County utilized a $34,159Lottery-funded grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to help with the cost of the project.

The County secured ownership of the Pineries open space in August 2010 and proceeded to develop a master plan. The plan was completed by the end of the year to guide recreational use and protect the land and resource values. The site is home to rare plants, old growth trees, terrestrial and aquatic wildlife and geomorphologic and cultural features. It provides a beautiful natural setting and the mountains of the front-range are visible from some parts of the property. Through the Master Plan, the public has the opportunity to enjoy and study a special natural environment.

“As the County continues to grow it is important that areas of public open space are secured for the long term use and enjoyment of the citizens and preserved for their ecological and social value,” said Tim Wolken, director of the Community Services Department for El Paso County. “The Pineries Open Space Master Plan recognizes the need to provide recreational opportunities for resident of the County and Black Forest community, as well as preserve a large area of open space that contains a relatively undisturbed natural environment.”

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. In Fiscal Year 2011, the Lottery distributed $113.4 million in proceeds. Since its creation 28 years ago, the Lottery has returned more than $2.2 billion to the state.

Lottery proceeds are distributed to three primary beneficiaries: GOCO, 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 20, 2011
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