How nearly $30 million in lottery money has been distributed to connect all Coloradans to a park or trail | VailDaily.com

How nearly $30 million in lottery money has been distributed to connect all Coloradans to a park or trail

Jason Blevins
The Colorado Sun

Great Outdoors Colorado has distributed close to $30 million for regional trails across the state in the three years since former Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Colorado the Beautiful, his plan to connect every state resident with a park or trail.

GOCO’s “Connect Initiative” grants — mostly lottery proceeds distributed through Colorado Parks and Wildlife — have helped communities plan, carve, pave and link trails across the state and the trail party seems to be continuing under Gov. Jared Polis.

Last fall the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission distributed 11 Colorado the Beautiful grants totaling $4.75 million, with $4 million coming from GOCO and $750,000 from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. Five of the grants went toward Hickenlooper’s “16 for 2016” high-priority trails. Another $3 million is slated for trail grants this summer.

Polis wants the Department of Natural Resources to expand public access for recreation, hunting and fishing on public lands as well as provide more opportunities on public lands to a wider range of Coloradans.

“Completing existing projects and working with stakeholders on future trail and access projects are a key component of this new priority,” said department spokesman Chris Arend.

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

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