Jun 24, 2022
The Colorado Lottery recognizes excellence in the use of Lottery funds across the state with its annual Starburst Awards.
This year, eight winning projects were chosen from across the state based on the creativity of the project, economic and social impact on the community, and whether the project achieved its goal. More than $6,406,826 in Lottery funds were represented in the winning projects. 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 is committed to conservation through the distribution of Lottery revenue through our beneficiaries. We are always so pleased to recognize the variety of projects these funds support - including wildlife conservation, protection of land and open space, and the creation and improvement of all kinds of outdoor recreation facilities,” said Tom Seaver, director of the Colorado Lottery. “This year's Starburst winners really demonstrate the many ways the Lottery funds help enrich our amazing state."
Submissions included programs and projects such as parks, playgrounds, outdoor recreation facilities, land conservation, trail enhancement, open space acquisition, wildlife natural resource preservation, and public school capital improvements.
This year’s 2022 Starburst Award winners include:
- City of Loveland – Loveland Recreation Trail: CTF $850,000
This project completed the final segment of the Loveland Recreation Trail, a 21-mile loop that encircles the city and connects to other regional trails. The completion of this stretch of the trail helped improve pedestrian safety, community and regional connectivity, and outdoor recreation. This project included construction of a 1/3 mile paved trail and a mile of soft surface trail along with a new trailhead, safe pedestrian crossings, a new bridge, and wetland and stormwater improvements.
Gunnison County – Sustainable Tourism & Outdoor Recreation Program: GOCO and CPW $810,000
Negative environmental impacts affecting the Gunnison community from increased visitation to public lands, evolving recreation styles, human and wildlife interaction, and climate change drove the county’s decision to make sustainability improvements. Approached collaboratively, the community created the Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation (STOR) program, which brings together stakeholders to better navigate a variety of land use issues.
City of Greeley – East Greeley Initiative: GOCO $719,515
The goal of the East Greeley Initiative is to provide close-to-home opportunities for local residents to enjoy the outdoors. This recently completed project is the result of seven years of active neighborhood engagement and collaboration with surrounding communities. For this project, Lottery dollars were used to fund two site development projects that include nature play amenities, walking paths, benches, picnic shelters, interactive art, and native landscaping.
Carbon Valley Parks and Recreation District – Outdoor Fitness Project: CTF $221,901
Carbon Valley Parks and Recreation District serves the towns of Firestone, Frederick, and Dacono, and while still a relatively small community, it is one of the fastest growing areas in the state.The new workout area features a variety of equipment for weight training, athletic and cardiovascular training, along with providing additional space for group fitness classes.
Larimer County Dept. of Natural Resources – Sky View Campground: GOCO $500,000
The 7-acre development at Carter Lake Reservoir includes new campsites and a large pavilion, paid for in part with GOCO dollars. It was designed to be the first campground in Larimer County catering to large groups, featuring 15 divided campsites that can accommodate a total of 120 people, as well as a large pavilion that seats up to 50. The $1.8 million project was partially funded by a half a million dollar grant from GOCO.
Aspen Valley Land Trust - Coffman Ranch: GOCO $2.5 million
GOCO funds were critical in the purchase of the Coffman Ranch, a 141-acre ranch that runs along the Roaring Fork River and boasts 35 acres of wetlands and high-quality riparian woodland-shrubland habitat. True to its heritage as a working ranch, dedicated acreage remained for sustainable, equity-based, local agriculture projects, in order to inspire the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park - Meadows Campground Cabins: CPW $302,500
The Meadows Campground outside Colorado Springs recently completed two new “tiny home” cabins to give park visitors more variety in their camping experience. Cabins similar to those being built have proven very popular at other state parks, and they feature amenities such as a kitchenette, heating and air conditioning, a bathroom, sleeping accommodations for up to six and are also ADA compliant. CPW used proceeds from the Lottery and Federal Land and Water Conservation Funds to complete the project. The project also includes upwards of three more cabins coming online in the future.
City of Lamar – North Gateway Park: GOCO $502,910
The Inspire Lamar project used its GOCO Generation Wild program grant to fund improvements and amenities at North Gateway Park, Escondido Park, and a sports complex playground. Funding helped support concession stands, fire pits, picnic areas, restrooms, shaded areas, outdoor education programs and events, campsites, accessible finish piers, and equipment rentals. This adds to the $1.8 million in grants since 2017 to transform North Gateway Park and Willow Creek Park, both of which are now easily accessible from the Lamar Loop trail. Eighteen programs and associated pathway opportunities will bring new experiences to youth like fishing, camping, and biking, and will give them the gear to do it by providing an affordable outdoor gear library.