The Colorado Lottery on Thursday announced its 2022 fiscal year Starburst Award winners.
According to a Lottery news release, the Starburst Awards “recognize excellence in the use of Lottery funds for community and conservation projects.”
For fiscal year 2022, eight projects from across the state garnered Starburst honors. The awards were based on the “creativity of the project, economic and social impact on the community and whether the project achieved its goal.”
Each year, the Colorado Lottery distributes a portion of revenue through grants. These grants are distributed to local projects across the state via Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the Conservation Trust Fund (CTF), Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), which manages the Outdoor Equity Fund.
Approximately 23 cents of every dollar spent on Colorado Lottery games is reinvested in state projects.
This spring, the Lottery announced it had reached its annual GOCO funding cap. That resulted in a record $73.1 million for the organization to use for statewide grants.
Since its inception in 1983, the Lottery says it has taken in more than $3.8 billion in proceeds.
In all, the eight Starburst winners this year were funded with approximately $6,406,826 in Lottery grants.
“The Lottery is committed to conservation through the distribution of Lottery revenue through our beneficiaries,” CO Lottery director Tom Seaver said in Thursday’s news release. “We are always so pleased to recognize the variety of projects these funds support — including wildlife conservation, protection of land and open space, and the creation and improvement of all kinds of outdoor recreation facilities. This year’s Starburst winners really demonstrate the many ways the Lottery funds help enrich our amazing state.”
Here’s a closer look at the eight 2022 Starburst Award winners:
Aspen Valley Land Trust
Project: Coffman Ranch
Organization (grant): GOCO ($2.5 million)
GOCO funds were vital in the purchase in the 141-acre ranch which borders the Roaring Fork River. It features 35 acres of wetlands and “high-quality riparian woodland-scrubland habitat.” A portion of the ranch land also will be dedicated to sustainable agriculture projects.
Carbon Valley Parks and Recreation District
Project: Outdoor Fitness Project
Organization (grant): CTF ($221,901)
The Carbon Valley Recreation District serves the towns of Dacono, Fireststone and Frederick and is one of the fastest growing areas in the state. The new project features workout and fitness equipment for weight and cardiovascular training while also providing additional space for group fitness classes.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Project: Meadows Campground Cabins
Organization (grant): CPW ($302,500)
Located just outside Colorado Springs, Meadows Campground recently completed construction of two “tiny home” cabins, which feature kitchenettes, heating and air conditioning, bathrooms and sleeping accommodations for six. The project also will include three more cabins at a future date.
City of Greeley
Project: East Greeley Initiative
Organization (grant): GOCO ($719,515)
Lottery dollars funded two development projects. Those included nature play amenities, walking paths, benches and picnic shelters, interactive art and native landscaping.
City of Lamar
Project: North Gateway Park
Organization (grant): GOCO ($502,910)
Grants from GOCO’s Generation Wild program help fund amenities at North Gateway and Escondido Parks. Those encompass concession stands, fire pits, picnic areas, campsites accessible piers and equipment rentals. A new playground also was constructed in the city’s sports complex.
City of Loveland
Project: Loveland Recreation Trail
Organization (grant): CTF ($850,000)
In 2022, the project completed the trail’s 21-mile loop that encircles the city. The completion of the one-third-mile stretch — which included a new bridge and wetland and stormwater upgrades — helped “improve pedestrian safety, community and regional connectivity and outdoor recreation.”
Project: Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Program (STOR)
Organization (grant): GOCO/CPW ($810,000)
Sustainability measures were needed for the county’s public lands due to a variety of factors. Lottery grant money funded the STOR, which brings together stakeholders “to better navigate a variety of land-use issues.”
Larimer County Department of Natural Resources
Project: Sky View Campground
Organization (grant): GOCO ($500,000)
Lottery funds provided for this seven-acre development at Carter Lake Reservoir. It includes new campsites, including 15 divided sites, and a larger pavilion that seats up to 50 people. The $500,000 GOCO grant partially funded this $1.8 million project.