GOCO: Restore Colorado Grant Program

Great Outdoors Colorado

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Grant amount: More than US $100,000

Deadline: The deadline for this grant has passed

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Colorado

Location of residency: Colorado

About this funder:



GOCO funds the restoration of Colorado's rivers, streams, wetlands, and critical habitat through the ReStORE Colorado Program (Restoration and Stewardship of Outdoor Resources and the Environment).

ReStORE is a new strategic partnership among Great Outdoors Colorado, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Gates Family Foundation, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado Water Conservation Board, established to fund large-scale habitat restoration and stewardship projects across several habitat priorities. 

Colorado is a national leader in private land conservation and has some of the most impressive publicly owned and managed lands in the country. The ReStORE funding partners developed the program to add to the conservation tools in Colorado. Specifically, the program will support wildlife habitat restoration, expansion, and improvement at-scale and provide opportunities for the proactive management of Colorado public and private conservation lands for the greatest benefit to wildlife and local communities. We will pilot the program in 2020 and the partners expect to continue and expand ReStORE in future years. 

ReStORE is also envisioned as a way for the funders to work together and support larger, more impactful projects. For those completing projects on the ground, ReStORE will serve as a single application and will alleviate the need to apply to each of our entities separately for project funding.  

Together, the partners have identified several habitat types and conservation themes of statewide significance. These priority landscapes include: 

  • River corridors, riparian areas and wetlands 
  • Eastern Colorado grasslands
  • Sagebrush
  • Big game winter range and migration routes
  • Forestland projects in specific geographies

The grant application process and the administration of awarded grants will be run by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. All of the partners will be involved in project selection. We anticipate up to $2.5 million in available funding with a minimum request of $100,000 and expect to award 6-12 projects statewide. ReStORE funding will be a combination of state, federal, and private, which will allow for maximum flexibility for applicants to accomplish habitat projects. Due to the unique funding partnership, applicants are not expected but are encouraged to provide matching funds and demonstrate project leverage and community support.​

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applicant eligibility - This program is open to all entities eligible to receive GOCO open space funds:
    • Colorado municipality or county
    • Political subdivision of the State of Colorado
    • Non-profit land conservation organization (land trust or 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with land conservation as a primary purpose)
    • Colorado Parks and Wildlife
    • Colorado special district with land conservation as a primary purpose
  • Project/Property Eligibility
    • The project’s primary objective must consist of enhancing or restoring habitat.
    • The project must occur on land owned by a:
      • municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the state and the land is managed as a protected open space or park or
      • land trust or other private party and the land is permanently protected by a conservation easement or other permanent use restriction.
    • All work must comply with any conservation easement or other use restriction concerning management of the property’s natural resources.
  • GOCO will fund up to 75% of the proposed project’s eligible costs.
    • Of the remaining minimum 25% match from other sources, GOCO requires a 12.5% minimum cash contribution.
  • Eligible costs are costs that are necessary to the project that GOCO can fund directly or that GOCO will allow as match, either as cash or as in-kind donations. The following list, though not comprehensive, summarizes GOCO’s eligibility requirements with regard to project: 
    • Professional services such as consultant or contracted services, youth corps crews, etc.
    • Staff time on projects when it can be shown that staff is the most effective and strategic way of addressing this project and that the other duties of that staff person can still be fulfilled
    • Equipment operation and/or rental
    • Travel expenses related to project
    • Costs that relate directly to the project, such as surveys, engineering, design, GIS/mapping, monitoring and evaluation services, etc.


  • Ineligible projects include but are not limited to:
    • Projects focused on recreational amenities including trails along rivers and streams and instream recreational features
    • Projects on private property that is not protected with a conservation easement or similar development restriction
    • Projects on federal lands
    • Projects that solely involve planning or monitoring
  • Ineligible costs: 
    • Fundraising costs
    • Staff time on projects outside of the scope of the application
    • Equipment purchases
    • Land, water, or conservation easement purchases
    • Any costs incurred prior to the grant award date with the exception of limited engineering and design costs