Aug 3, 2018

Larimer County and Fort Collins to receive Starburst Award for Horsetooth Foothills conservation projects

DENVER – One of the top recreation destinations in Northern Colorado has benefited from the preservation of several hundred acres of open space thanks to Lottery funds.

Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins will receive a Colorado Lottery Starburst Award for acquiring nearly 2,500 acres of land surrounding Horsetooth Reservoir. The purchases were made possible in large part due to a $4.8 million Lottery-funded grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO).

The award will be presented at the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources Summer Picnic for staff and volunteers. The presentation will occur at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 9 at the South Bay Pavilion at Horsetooth Reservoir.

Working jointly, the county and city closed on a series of four land acquisitions that conserved 2,492 acres to the south and west of Horsetooth Reservoir. The area features several types of native vegetation that provides habitat for bobcats, mountain lions, grouse, bear, deer, elk and rare butterfly species. Each parcel of land contains unique characteristics that define the Colorado Front Range, including rolling prairies, forests and rocky ridgelines. The new acreage is adjacent to some of the most popular natural areas in Fort Collins including Devil’s Backbone Open Space, Coyote Ridge Natural Area, and Horsetooth Mountain Open Space.

"We are grateful for the support that Colorado Lottery funds bring to parks, open spaces and trails in Larimer County," said Gary Buffington, director of Larimer County Department of Natural Resources. "Lottery funds were critical in enabling Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins to conserve lands in the Horsetooth area, one of the most iconic places in our county. Lottery funds have left an indelible mark on conservation around Horsetooth, benefiting the citizens and visitors of Larimer County now and for generations to come."

The Colorado Lottery Starburst Awards recognize excellence in the use of Lottery proceeds in outdoor recreation and conservation that enhance a community’s environment.


In FY2017 alone, the Lottery distributed $133.4 million in proceeds. Since its creation 35 years ago, the Lottery has returned more than $3.1 billion back into the state of Colorado. Lottery proceeds are distributed to three primary beneficiaries: GOCO, Conservation Trust Fund, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. These organizations provide grants and direct funding for parks, recreation, open space acquisition, trails, and wildlife and conservation education. For more information on Starburst Awards, visit


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