Winning Big with Colorado Lottery Money at SDA Colorado 2016

GOCO grant funds helped provide planning design for the redevelopment at Wheatlands Park

Ever play the lottery? If so, I sure hope you won big bucks! Besides the joy of cash winnings, did you get a warm and fuzzy feeling just for playing?

Here’s the good part.  Even if you lost a buck or more; you helped fund some incredible outdoor experiences for kids and adults. When you play the lottery in Colorado part of the proceeds go to Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) used to fund projects that get people outdoors for a healthier lifestyle.

Colorado is the only state with such a program. Take a moment to appreciate the potential of this program, it's pretty remarkable. GOCO has helped bring to life some of the most incredible and unique outdoor experiences from open spaces to parks to school yards.

Even if you already knew about GOCO, did you know that you don't need to be a public agency to receive matched funds from them?

We're finding more special districts building their own parks, either in partnership with a public agency or on their own. Last month at the Special Districts Associations of Colorado conference we helped district managers realize just how attainable GOCO funds are for them.

Money for Planning & Built Projects

Grant funds may even be obtained for planning efforts, not just built work. The list of grant opportunities is much broader than most people know—you just might need to get creative with it.

Rather than thinking about it as a specific effort to fund a single project, think about it as building your community. What builds a community?

Building Community with GOCO Funds

What is your community missing? What is it your community needs? Don't know? That's ok, there’s experts to help with the process of figuring that out. You just need to have the desire to add value to your community. Essentially, making your community a place your neighbors will envy.

There’s a lot of resources out there to help along the way, including the GOCO team themselves who offer technical assistance for specific projects. The first step may be to reach out to them just to let them know you're interested but not sure what to do next. It can be as simple as that. Visit GOCO's website for a list of specialists who can work with you towards success.

If you not multiplying your funds with grant resources, why not?

Erik Spring Associate Landscape architect Design Cocnepts