DENVER – On Friday, June 14, the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board awarded a $286,296 grant to the City of Trinidad for the development of the Purgatoire Watershed Outdoor Stewardship Program and for immediate stewardship on several city-owned properties.
The grant is part of the inaugural round of GOCO’s Stewardship Impact Grants, which aims to increase on-the-ground stewardship outcomes statewide through funding for collaborative, targeted stewardship projects.
This program is the culmination of a multi-year effort by GOCO and the Colorado Outdoor Stewardship Coalition to create a foundational framework for advancing volunteer-based stewardship in Colorado communities.
The City of Trinidad will invest its GOCO funding in developing the Purgatoire Watershed Outdoor Stewardship Program, designed by a coalition of statewide and local partners with the goal of prioritizing stewardship projects in the Trinidad area. Partners include the Purgatoire Watershed Partnership, The Trust for Public Land (TPL), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, the Trinidad School District, Trinidad Youth Club, and Mile High Youth Corps, among others.
The program aims to engage the local community, including people of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels, and convey the importance of stewardship, reinforcing the idea of stewardship as a community effort and expanding the pool of available stewards for future projects.
The grant will fund two pilot projects for the new program. The first will enhance 150 acres of the Fisher’s Peak and Crazy French Ranch area, which was —in part —recently purchased and conserved by TPL and TNC, and will eventually be open to the public. The second will facilitate habitat restoration and recreational trail stewardship on city-owned park spaces along the Purgatoire River. Both projects are part of a citywide goal to provide more outdoor recreation and education opportunities to community members and tourists.
To date, GOCO has invested more than $19 million in projects in Las Animas County and has conserved more than 167,000 acres of land there. GOCO funding has supported the acquisition and conservation of Fisher’s Peak and Crazy French Ranch, Kim Equine Pavilion, and Boulevard Addition Nature Park, among other projects.