GOCO: Open Space Grants

Great Outdoors Colorado

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Grant amount: Up to US $10,000

Next anticipated deadline: Jul 15, 2020 (Pre proposal)

Later anticipated deadlines: Aug 15, 2020 (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Colorado

Location of residency: Colorado

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About this funder:

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Overview:

Note: Draft applications due at the 'Pre-Proposal' deadline above are optional. 

Open Space Grants help fund the acquisition and protection of unique open space and natural areas of statewide significance through fee acquisitions or conservation easements.

Land acquisition projects intended for low-impact, passive recreation with very limited facilities should be submitted through our Open Space Program; acquisition projects intended for high-impact, active recreation with significant facility development should be submitted through our Local Parks and Outdoor Recreation Grant Program.

The project must fit one or more of these project types:

  • Buffer/Inholding: A buffer adjacent to, or inholding within, a public land area, including but not limited to a state park, state wildlife area, national park, national forest, national recreation area, national wildlife refuge, national monument, local park, or local open space area.
  • Greenways/Stream Corridors: Lands that connect communities along river or stream corridors or railroad and utility easements, or that link outside edges of urban development and activity to outlying recreational facilities, parks, and open space, including but not limited to riparian, trail, and open space corridors.
  • Community Separators: Lands that provide physical and visual open space buffers between cities, towns, and developed areas that may help retain the unique identity of a developed community.
  • Agricultural Land: Land currently being used for the production of food or fiber, including but not limited to ranchland, irrigated pasture, and cropland.
  • Natural Areas and Non-game Wildlife Habitat: A natural area, defined under the Colorado Natural Areas Act as a “physical and biological area which either retains or has reestablished its natural character, although it need not be completely undisturbed, and which typifies native vegetation and associated biological and geological features or provides habitat for rare or endangered animal or plant species or includes geologic or other natural features of scientific or educational value,” OR a habitat for non-game wildlife species, defined by state law as “mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks and crustaceans” that may not be hunted, fished, or trapped.
  • Scenic Viewshed: Lands that provide for the “scenic enjoyment of the general public,” as defined in Treasury Regulations § 1.170A-14(d)(4)(ii)(A) including “a scenic panorama that can be enjoyed from a park, nature preserve, road, water body, trail, or historic structure or land area, and such area or transportation way is open to, or utilized by, the public.”
  • Urban: GOCO interprets “urban” on a case-by-case basis. Please contact GOCO staff if there is a question about whether a project is urban. 

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

Eligibility:

  • Non-profit land-conservation organizations, municipalities, counties, political subdivisions of the state, and the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife are eligible for Open Space Grants.
  • The proposed open space project must be set aside for natural open space purposes, not for developed recreation. 
    • Properties that will have any developed facilities on them (recreational or otherwise) must be discussed with GOCO prior to submitting an application, so GOCO can determine whether the proposed uses of the property are consistent with GOCO’s mission and policies and, if so, whether they fit best within the open space program
      • Generally, land acquisitions for low-impact, passive recreation uses with very limited facilities may be submitted through the open space program. 
  • The following list of allowed uses is for guidance only; it is not exhaustive and GOCO may approve limited exceptions. GOCO may allow or prohibit other uses as GOCO deems appropriate to keep the project consistent with GOCO’s open space program:
    • Low-impact (passive) recreational use such as walking, running, hiking, environmental education, interpretive signage, fishing, and (in certain circumstances) bicycling.
    • If requested in the application, approved, and specifically identified in the conservation easement:
      • a reserved home site, agricultural business area, or trailhead area
      • repair/replacement/construction of fences for purposes of customary management of livestock, wildlife, and separation of ownership and uses
      • environmental education signs
    • If requested in the application, approved, and specifically identified in the conservation  easement:
      • Continued use and maintenance of existing roads and trails on the property
      • Construction of a new unpaved trail or trailhead
    • If requested in the application, approved, and specifically identified in the conservation  easement:
      • Mining activities that will minimally disrupt the surface of the property and/or will have only a limited localized impact on the conservation values of the project.
    • Commercial activities that would not substantially diminish or impair the property’s conservation values or otherwise interfere with the purposes of the easement.

Ineligibility:

  • The following is a list of prohibited open space uses. It is not exhaustive and GOCO may approve limited exceptions. GOCO may allow or prohibit other uses as GOCO deems appropriate to keep the project consistent with GOCO’s open space program:
    • Recreational activity - High-impact (active) recreational uses such as motorized recreational use (e.g. snowmobiles, dirt bikes, etc.), paved running tracks, ball fields, playgrounds, golf courses, etc. 
    • Construction of any other buildings or structures.
    • Construction of new paved parking lots, roads, and/or paved trails, unless local laws require the paving of parking
    • surfaces and/or roadways.
      • Paved trails may be approved in very limited circumstances if part of a larger regional trail.
    • Mining activities that will have surface impacts or other adverse impacts on the conservation values of the project.
    • Dumping or unconfined accumulation of trash.
    • Commercial activities that have adverse impacts on the conservation values of the project.