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Posted on: December 15, 2020

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY OPEN SPACE RECEIVES $343,933 GOCO GRANT

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY OPEN SPACE RECEIVES $343,933 GOCO GRANT

In late November, the GOCO board awarded a $343,933 grant to Clear Creek County Open Space to support access improvements at Floyd Hill Open Space Park (FHOSP) and trail maintenance at FHOSP and elsewhere in the County. Explains Clear Creek County Open Space Director, Martha Tableman, “Many of our local area trails have seen record usage during the pandemic and we expect this trend to continue, especially given our proximity to the Denver-Metro area. Our goal is to be able to offer increased outdoor recreational opportunities.”

This grant is part of GOCO’s Resilient Communities program (RCP), 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.

With this funding, Clear Creek County Open Space will improve access to the FHOSP trailhead by expanding the entrance driveway and parking areas. These upgrades will create safer access from Highway 40 and address overflow parking issues. Funding will also support new restrooms at the trailhead as well as an entrance sign and map kiosk. Increased visitation at the 700-acre park has created the need for additional services to support users of its trail network.

Additionally, this grant will support the County in hiring a TeamWorks youth work crew for trail maintenance, both at FHOSP and on other trails managed by Clear Creek County Open Space, the United States Forest Service, and the Historic District Public Lands Commission. TeamWorks is a program through TEENS, Inc., a nonprofit that provides paid employment and learning opportunities to youth of different backgrounds.

Currently, the County relies on just three maintenance personnel to maintain its 112 miles of trail, and additional capacity is needed to accommodate increased recreation. A 10-person youth crew will work for five weeks to address ongoing maintenance needs on trails county-wide. This project will enhance recreation opportunities across Clear Creek County and provide local youth with jobs and professional development opportunities during a time of high unemployment.

To date, GOCO has invested more than $13 million in projects in Clear Creek County and conserved more than 800 acres of land there. GOCO funding has supported other projects at Floyd Hill Open Space Park, the Peaks to Plains Trail, Tom Benhoff Lake Trail, and Idaho Springs Ball Field, among other projects.

For more information on Clear Creek County Open Space projects and the TeamWorks youth crew, please contact: Martha Tableman, Clear Creek County Open Space Director, at mtableman@clearcreekcounty.us.

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