GOCO Awards Funds to Get Saguache Kids Outside
Earlier this month, local children and dignitaries gather in Otto Mears Park for some celebratory news about getting the kids outside this summer. On Wednesday, June 14, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) was in Saguache to distribute part of the $13.5 million that it awarded last December to six Colorado communities through its pioneering Inspire Initiative grant program.
Locally, it is the Alpine Achievers Initiative (AAI) that will be the recipient of a three year grant in conjunction with Antonito and Creede to develop programs, pathways and places to get San Luis Valley youth and families outdoors. This Wednesday the GOCO Board of Directors will do a site visit to Otto Mears Park where AAI will be hosting a Backyard to Backcountry Summit and facilitating environmental activities for K-5 Saguache County youth.
Local dignitaries were on hand to listen to program leaders and the youth speak about the plans and celebrate the project’s funding award.
The grant program is focused on getting kids into the outdoors, using trails, recreation centers and education programs to foster the deep appreciation for wild-land recreation that permeates so much of Colorado.
The youth-led San Luis Valley Inspire coalition gets $1 million for the Antonito Outdoor Education Center, new trails along Willow Creek Corridor and support for the Saguache Backyard to Backcountry Program. Locally the grant match came from the county’s sales tax fund program, said Saguache County Commissioner Jason Anderson during the Q & A part of the program. Other representatives from the public sector included State Senator Larry Crowder, as well as Saguache Town Mayor Greg Terrell
The Rio Grande Headwaters Trust gets $376,500 from GOCO’s open-space program to permanently conserve the 460-acre La Garita Creek Ranch near Del Norte. Colorado Parks and Wildlife gets $25,000 from GOCO’s habitat restoration program for the Rio Grande State Wildlife Area. GOCO has invested $42 million in the San Luis Valley, conserving more than 90,000 acres and supporting projects like an ice rink in Alamosa and parks in Monte Vista and Center.
Read the FULL REPORT, including other grants distributed in the state.