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GOCO Grant Helps Launch Conservation, Stewardship, and Community Engagement Initiative

Amanda Bartel

Tami Graham spoke with Patrick Barker, executive director of La Plata Open Space Conservancy (LPOSC) about a GOCO grant that was recently awarded to the non-profit.

GOCO invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state's parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open spaces. The grant will launch a conservation, stewardship, and community engagement initiative to grow connections between area residents and local conservation work. The Durango area has seen an influx of visitors to its open spaces as a result of population growth and the pandemic, highlighting the need for education on responsible recreation, stewardship, and conservation practices.  

This grant is part of GOCO’s Resilient Communities program, which helps grantee partners advance outdoor recreation, stewardship, and land protection work. Funded projects respond to one-time, immediate needs or opportunities that have emerged in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic all within the context of GOCO’s five program values: resource conservation, outdoor stewardship, community vitality, equitable access, and youth connections to the outdoors. 
This project will involve a multi-tiered approach with the goal of engaging LPOSC’s partners, local youth, and other community members in the Conservancy’s work. LPOSC will host information sessions for land-oriented professionals, including realtors, attorneys, and land planners to discuss increased development pressure in the area. Outreach will also help local landowners understand the benefits of conservation easements. 

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