May 1, 2023
Proceeds partners use Lottery funds to build great things
We are pleased to recognize the 2023 Starburst Award Winners – eight unique and exceptional projects that used Lottery dollars to enrich communities across our great state. More than $4,042,283 in Lottery funds were represented in this year's winning projects, which include work on parks, campgrounds, open spaces, outdoor education, accessibility, and equity.
Over the past 40 years, the Colorado Lottery has raised over $4 BILLION to support all the ways Coloradans play including parks and recreation, land conservation, wildlife and nature preservation, public school improvements, and so much more. Lottery proceeds are distributed statewide through grants via Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the Conservation Trust Fund (CTF), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), which manages the Outdoor Equity Fund, and Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST).
"The Lottery’s conservation efforts are only made possible through the incredible work of its partners that distribute Lottery revenue to meaningful projects throughout the state,” said Tom Seaver, director of the Colorado Lottery. “To see Lottery dollars at work around the state to protect, support, expand open space, animal habitats, and recreational opportunities is so gratifying. This year's Starburst winners showcase the types of projects that help our state be the best state in the country."
Congratulations to the 2023 Starburst Award Winners! Thank you for putting Lottery dollars to work for every Coloradan.
- City of Wheat Ridge – Prospect Park - $1,237,970 (GOCO and CTF)
Nearly 45,000 residents and visitors enjoy Prospect Park annually. The park renovation will provide more opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to be able to enjoy the park as the gateway to the regional Clear Creek Trail and Wheat Ridge greenbelt. In addition to creating new recreation opportunities at the park, the Lottery funds help replace the picnic pavilion, the tennis court with pickleball courts, and improve the roads and walkways around the park.
- City of Englewood – Pirates Cove Play Structure Refurbish - $207,478 (CTF)
Located just south of Denver, this pirate-themed water park draws over 100,000 visitors every summer. The park’s popularity and annual attendance have grown along with the area since it was built in 2004. Needing an upgrade, exciting new features were added to the structure, including a new double slide, new paint, portal openings with pirates looking out, a ship's wheel, along with fish, a treasure chest, parrot, and cannons.
- Montrose Recreation District – Holly Park Renovation - $214,348 (GOCO)
The City of Montrose used its Local Park and Outdoor Recreation (LPOR) grant to make several improvements to Holly Park, including adding a multi-purpose field, playground, enhanced handball courts, and colorfully painted courts to inspire creative play. Additional improvements included the removal of outdated and unusable elements. Grant funds were also used to expand the infield, dugout, and shade structures and provide additional parking, lighting, and irrigation.
- Crawford State Park – Clear Fork Campground Renovation - $1,537,487 (CPW and GOCO)
Located near the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Crawford’s major draws are its reservoir and camping facilities. It is considered the rare location on the western slope where people can enjoy fishing, waterskiing, swimming, and even scuba diving. The renovations include replacing multiple campsites and now has 20 full hookups for recreational vehicles, as well as more space, new shade shelters and picnic tables, and improved ADA access.
- Town of Estes Park – Thumb Open Space - $350,000 (GOCO)
In partnership with the Town of Estes Park and Estes Valley Land Trust (EVLT), GOCO funds were used to acquire the 65-acre Thumb Open Space on the south side of Prospect Mountain in Estes Park. Since the 1940s, the Thumb and Needle, two iconic rock features in Estes Park, have been a favorite rock climbing and hiking destination. In an effort to conserve the property and provide public access, future improvements will include enhancing the area’s existing facilities, signage, trail improvements, additional fencing, and increased patrolling of the area.
- Adaptive Adventures – Get Outdoors and Play Multisport Days - $45,000 (OEGP)
Adaptive Adventures is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Westminster that provides progressive outdoor sports opportunities to improve quality of life for children, adults, and veterans with physical disabilities and their families, regardless of their location, equipment needs, or economic status. This grant is able to provide adaptive cycling, climbing, kayaking, and paddle boarding to children, adults, and veterans with physical disabilities and their families, free of charge.
- The Cycle Effect – Girls Mountain Bike Program - $25,000 (OEGP)
The Cycle Effect’s mission is to empower young women through mountain biking to create brighter futures and build stronger communities. Founded on the belief that all young women deserve equal access to the outdoors and mountain biking in general, the Girls Mountain Bike Program is designed to make mountain biking accessible, affordable, and inclusive, especially for young women of color.
- Environmental Learning for Kids – ELK Education Center - $425,000+ (GOCO)
The ELK Education Center and Montbello Open Space Park Campaign is a unique partnership with Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK), The Trust for Public Land, and Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR). The project has created a 7,000-square-foot environmental and outdoor Education Center and 4.5-acre Open Space Park providing a home in the community to learn, play and create through improved access to nature, educational, and community programs in a safe place within the neighborhood. The new Education Center provides a space to house ELK’s programs and operations, as well as provide green space that is open and free to the public and activated by youth and adult programs.