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Delta County receives $100,000 GOCO grant for trail planning

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The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) board awarded Delta County a $100,000 trail planning grant last week as part of GOCO's new Connect Initiative trail planning grant program.

The grant program provides funding for trail projects for design, engineering and master planning. It was created in 2016 to help municipalities and their partners navigate the often complicated planning process for trails, from regional networks to first-ever master plans in communities new to trail building.

The program will help trail projects get shovel-ready for construction grants also offered through the Connect Initiative.

There are few counties that boast the outdoor recreation diversity that Delta County has and GOCO funding will help the county develop its first trails master plan to guide future construction. Delta County will coordinate with its towns and other municipalities to establish a plan to connect them with bike, pedestrian or equestrian access.

The county will hire a consultant to conduct public outreach and engage partnering municipalities, create a trail inventory, and identify priority projects and a framework to move them forward.

Delta is another Colorado community looking to bolster its local economy by developing trails and improving bike and pedestrian access to existing parks and destinations. Many communities across the state are developing their outdoor recreation amenities to increase tourism, support local businesses and improve quality of life for residents. The county aims to have the master plan complete by the end of 2017.

To date, GOCO has invested $7.1 million in Delta County projects and has conserved more than 500 acres of land. GOCO funding has supported Crawford State Park, Delta Regional Youth Sports Complex, and the Delta County Fairgrounds, among other projects. Greater Delta County was also recently named a GOCO Inspire pilot community and will be part of a $25 million initiative to get kids outside.

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state's parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open spaces. GOCO's independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 4,800 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.

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