“I know he’d be a poorer man
if he never saw an eagle fly”
John Denver, Rocky Mountain High
Coloradans who’d like to lend a hand in preserving the state’s renowned outdoor beauty have a chance to do so this autumn. As proclaimed by Governor Jared Polis, October is the third annual Colorado Lottery Conservation Month.
It recognizes the state lottery’s commitment to the conservancy of Colorado’s outdoor spaces. And encourages conserving, protecting, and restoring those spaces.
In addition, the Colorado gambling market including taxes gained from sports betting has contributed tremendously to the Colorado Water Plan.
To fulfill the month’s stewardship mission, the Lottery partners with various organizations. And offers opportunities for conservation-minded Coloradans to take part in maintaining the state’s majestic outdoors.
Lottery director Tom Seaver previously said the Lottery is becoming a conservation organization. But conservation isn’t just limited to open space.
“Every acre of local parks improvement, trail upkeep, new recreation spaces, and school infrastructure help keep our spaces supported and expanding to accommodate all of the new people who enjoy Colorado’s great outdoors every year.”
More recently he spoke about October 2022’s celebration giving the Lottery a chance to “walk the walk” as an organization focused on conservancy. “It’s important to us to get out and get our hands dirty, bringing manpower to important conservation and restoration events, along with funding.”
In line with that, some Lottery employees will participate in Conservation Month events. As well as many locals and groups, according to a Lottery spokesperson.
Currently on the calendar are:
Oct. 8, Runyon to the Res Arkansas River Cleanup in Pueblo, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This year, 125 volunteers will help clear out debris from the river’s banks and enjoy lunch with other like-minded volunteers.
Special guests will attend, as well. For its third hosting of this annual event, the Lottery has partnered with:
- Colorado Parks and Wildlife
- City of Pueblo Parks and Recreation
- Pueblo’s Nature and Wildlife Discovery Center
Oct. 15 & 16: A trail construction project organized by Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
Sponsored by the Lottery the 2-day event will happen at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space in Fort Collins. The Lottery has long supported Horsetooth Mountain, which is overseen by the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources.
A volunteer trail construction crew of about 80 folks will camp at Horsetooth Reservoir for the weekend. The goal is to break ground on a new surface trail out of Soderberg Trailhead. Interested parties can sign up here.
Colorado Lottery’s big year
Since its beginnings in 1983, the Colorado Lottery has returned more than $3.9 billion to outdoor projects. Those have included:
- Great Outdoors Colorado
- Conservation Trust Fund
- Colorado Parks and Wildlife Association
The Lottery has also supported schools through Building Excellent Schools Today.
Just this year, following a record fiscal year revenue of almost $827 million, the Lottery gave its partners more than $180.3 million.
This was a banner year for the Colorado Lottery in more ways than one. The World Lottery Association awarded the Colorado Lottery its Level 4 Responsible Gaming Certification. That’s the highest level of certification available.