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Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO)

GOCO BOARD ADOPTS SPENDING PLAN FOR FUTURE LOTTERY FUNDS

Land, Water, and Wildlife Protection Major Focus

After an extensive public process, the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board has adopted a strategic plan that will guide the granting of GOCO’s share of Lottery proceeds for outdoor projects. The planning effort was prompted by a significant increase in the amount of funds GOCO will be receiving. GOCO’s share of Lottery proceeds will increase from an average of $20 million annually to $35 million a year adjusted for inflation -- approximately $44 million in Fiscal Year 1999/2000.

The plan is based on input the Board received from more than 2000 Coloradans. Last Fall, GOCO conducted a series of meetings in 14 cities around the state to discuss what modifications it should make to its previous plan. More than 900 people participated in the meetings. Ciruli Associates also conducted a telephone survey of 600 citizens. Finally, over 500 people commented on a draft of the plan via GOCO’s home page, letters and phone calls.

Through the planning process, the Board learned Coloradans continue to consider growth and its impacts the number one issue that should be addressed in the state. Preserving open space tops the list of local and statewide priorities for the investment of Lottery funds. Based on what was learned, the protection and stewardship of land and water for open space, wildlife, parks and outdoor recreation will continue to be the highest priority for the GOCO Board.

The Board will organize its grant activities into three core programs and has developed an overall allocation of funds into each program:

  1. Land, Water, and Wildlife Protection 71.5% of total funds

  2. Outdoor Recreation Facilities 23.0% of total funds

  3. Youth, Environmental Education, and Interpretation 5.5% of total fund
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Strategic Plan Summary
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Strategic Plan Main

Under the Land, Water, and Wildlife Protection Program, the Board has five targeted initiatives:

Initiative 1) Protecting Important River Corridors
Initiative 2) Protecting Colorado’s Unique Natural Areas and Wildlife Habitats
Initiative 3) Protecting Community Separators
Initiative 4) Protecting Land for Future Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Initiative 5) Protecting Strategic Agricultural Lands

The Outdoor Recreation Program will target the establishment of new outdoor recreation facilities for local and State Parks and the establishment, development, and enhancement of trails. GOCO’s Youth, Environmental Education and Interpretation Program will place special emphasis on engaging youth -- the future stewards of the state’s vast natural resources -- in outdoor activities and opportunities including through youth corps programs.

GOCO will continue to offer its existing grant programs. Adding the targeted initiatives is designed to spur the development of cohesive projects of regional and statewide significance. The targeted initiatives will also be achieved through existing grant programs and new programs yet to be developed. The Board recognizes that strategically focusing a portion its resources means that not all regions of the state will be served by all types of GOCO grants. However, because of GOCO’s funding increase, more dollars will likely be available for all project types that serve Colorado’s diversity of outdoor needs.

Although the plan will guide GOCO’s granting of funds until July of 2009 when the Lottery is scheduled to sunset, the Board will regularly seek input from Coloradans about its spending priorities. The Board will determine annually the amount and types of grants it will give so it can address new challenges that arise in coming years and take advantage of special opportunities.

Strategic Plan Summary

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