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December continues to be a time of hopeful news for the area’s nonprofits. On Friday the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) board awarded a $34,700 grant to the City of Salida for city trail construction, improvements, and rehabilitation work.


Kids learn a lot outdoors. Image courtesy of Great Outdoors Colorado. The city will hire Southwest Conservation Corps-Los Valles (SCC-LV) crews to integrate a popular trail into the existing Panorama Trail.

This grant is part of GOCO’s Conservation Service Corps program. GOCO partners with Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA) to employ conservation service corps crews across the state on outdoor recreation and stewardship projects.

CYCA represents a statewide coalition of eight accredited corps that train youth, young adults, and veterans to complete land and water conservation work and gain professional skills.

“The partnership between GOCO and CYCA is more important than ever,” said CYCA Executive Director Scott Segerstrom. “Colorado’s iconic public and protected lands are being enjoyed by millions of people each year making the stewardship of these resources critical.”

This funding will help the City of Salida partner with SCC-LV crews for four weeks to connect the popular non-system route to the Panorama Trail. Crews will work with the volunteer nonprofit Salida Mountain Trails to make the trail more sustainable and user-friendly The crew work includes:

  • Closure of 540 feet of the trail for rehabilitation
  • Construction of 955 feet of new trail
  • Improvements to 2,575 feet of the existing trail

Once completed, the Panorama-linked trail will create a continuous, mile-long city trail open for foot traffic. This project aims to improve connectivity, increase capacity, reduce user conflict, mitigate erosion, and enhance user experiences on Salida trails.

Enjoying the great outdoors. Photo courtesy of Great Outdoors Colorado

“These investments by GOCO ensure that conservation service corps can rise to this challenge and keep these lands healthy and accessible for everyone,” said Segerstrom. “Equally important, GOCO’s investments create hundreds of jobs that will be filled by youth and young adults from across the state. Together, CYCA and GOCO are not only securing the future of these lands, we are changing the trajectory of lives.”

To date, GOCO has invested more than $16.8 million in projects in Chaffee County and partnered to conserve 5,794 acres of land there. GOCO funding has supported campground and other improvements in Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, Poncha Springs’ South Park Disc Golf Center, and Salida’s Riverside Park playground, among other projects.

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 5,600 projects in all 64 counties of Colorado without any tax dollar support. Visit for more information.

Featured image:  Kids learn a lot outdoors. Image courtesy of Great Outdoors Colorado.