Teller County Hitting Mega Jackpot With GOCO Grant Awards

Florissant Park Project Becomes Latest Winner, Striking $371,000 Grand Prize


Rick Langenberg

The Teller County area continues to hit the jackpot regarding a growing allotment of Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grants that have now edged close to the $1 million mark in the last few months, with the lion’s sharegoing to the city of Woodland Park and now Teller County.

This is part of a trend throughout region, with Teller County governments winning big as far as proposed park improvements and open space ventures.

So, if local leaders have a solid message to fellow Coloradoans, it is this: Keep playing the lottery.  In addition, don’t underestimate the value of local fund-raising efforts and related support campaigns, which may have helped seal the deal for recent grant awards.    

The 10-acre Florissant Community Park project emerged as latest big GOCO recipient, with the GOCO board awarding a $371,819 grant to Teller County to improve what officials described as the “only community park serving residents of western Teller County and eastern Park County,” according to a GOCO press release.

The grant is part of GOCO’s community impact program, which develops and revitalizes parks, trails, school yards, fairgrounds, environmental education facilities, and other outdoor projects that enhance a community’s quality of life and access to the outdoors.

The park project has received much attention by the county commissioners, who have lauded the support exhibited by residents in the area, and local kids, who have implemented a number of impressive fund-raising efforts for several years.  They have addressed the commissioners on a number of occasions. Based on the community support, county leaders cited this as a top priority for the area.

This community drive apparently got the attention of GOCO officials, who mentioned actions taken parents and kids in the area to raise funds for the project.

No one has denied the importance of this park, which was often overlooked in past years.   

Located adjacent to the local library, this community park is the only public recreation opportunity in the area.

The nearest playgrounds are located at schools in the nearby communities of Divide and Lake George.

Through this project, the “county aims to improve accessibility, increase usability, and provide additional amenities for both residents and visitors to the area,” according to GOCO.   Future upgrades cited include a new playground, a larger pavilion, accessible restroom facilities, a refurbished basketball court, and resurfaced parking lot.

GOCO officials contend that the park “will support a variety of recreational activities; promote community connection; and host summer movie nights, concerts, and large family gatherings.

Construction has already begun, with re-opening expected in fall 2024.

The project began with a fundraising initiative led by the Divide Mountain Girl Scout Troop #40394 for new playground equipment, followed by the establishment of the Adopt the Park-Florissant group.

As word of the playground initiative spread throughout the county, residents responded with donations, offers to volunteer, and requests for park improvements beyond the playground equipment, according to GOCO officials. Other businesses/organizations offered to donate services, labor, and materials, including fellow Woodland Park Girl Scout troops and the Woodland Park Kiwanis Club.

To date, GOCO has invested more than $10.8 million in Teller County and partnered to conserve 4,495 acres of land there. GOCO funding has supported Mueller State Park, Catamount Ridge Forest Restoration, and Mountain View Adventure Park, among other projects.

And last spring, GOCO awarded the city of Woodland Park was awarded more than $500,000 for the purchase of the Avenger Open Space area. The purchase deal has already been completed, with an opening date expected soon. 

In the past, GOCO also was a key player in the Catamount Ranch open space project, opening up one of the most revered hiking and cross-country skiing area, with key access to the Ring the Peak trail network.  

Where do these funds come from?

 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 5,700 projects in all 64 counties of Colorado without any tax dollar support. Visit for more information.