|Great Outdoors Colorado was established in the state constitution by citizen initiative in 1992. Shortly after its passage, a newly appointed Board authorized development of a five-year strategic plan that would establish principles of grant making. The Board desired to create reasonable and consistent procedures and budget priorities for future actions. The five-year strategic plan was adopted after statewide public input.
A process to update the strategic plan began at the October 1997 Board retreat. The update effort was prompted by a number of strategic factors:
- The original strategic plan was designed for the first five years of GOCO's start-up. In 1998, lottery legislation was due for a 10-year renewal, which would provide an extended period of grant making.
- A significant increase in funding due to the repayment of constitutionally mandated bond obligations would more than double the funds available for grants beginning in 1999.
- The completion of the first five years of grant making provided an opportunity to evaluate successes and identify gaps where additional strategies were required.
- Rapid growth in population, residential and commercial development since the Act was passed in 1992 created new challenges and opportunities for protection and enjoyment of the outdoors.
- Nineteen ninety-eight was expected to be the year of political and policy change, with the potential of a new governor and changes in legislative membership.
The 1997 retreat included a review of program gaps, recommended innovations and adjustments. Also, an evaluation of grantee satisfaction with the program's operation was presented. A strategic plan update was then authorized.
Strategic Planning Committee
In the spring of 1998, the Board created a Strategic Planning Committee. In May 1998, the Legislature re-authorized the lottery for ten years. GOCO staff developed a situation analysis, which outlined the need for a strategic plan update and the critical issues that an update should address.
The Strategic Planning Committee began its review of the situation analysis in June 1998. The Committee identified the major issues for future consideration and made recommendations for long-term goals and a public participation process. Among topics for public input were the impact of growth on the outdoors in each area of the state, and the potential options for use of increased funding, including:
Land, Water and Wildlife Protection
- Protect important river corridors
- Protect important natural areas and wildlife habitat
- Protect important community separators
- Protect land for future parks and outdoors
- Protect strategic agricultural lands
Outdoor Recreation Facilities
- Develop new state and local parks
- Build new regional outdoor recreation facilities
- Build regional trails
- Develop new youth programs
- Enhance education and interpretation programs
- Telephone survey conducted October 1 to October 30, 1998 for Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO).
- Conducted by Ciruli Associates.
- Telephone survey of 600 Colorado adults in Colorado selected by random digit dialing with random sample of statewide area telephone exchanges.
Related Link: GOCO Strategic Plan Update