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Open Space Grants

Grants to Colorado Land Conservation Nonprofits
and Government Entities to Preserve Natural Areas

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO)

Deadline Date:

08/15/19 5:00 PM


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Grants to Colorado municipalities, counties, political subdivisions, government agencies, and nonprofit land conservation organizations for land conservation projects that preserve unique natural areas and open spaces across the State. Funding is intended to support conservation easements and fee acquisitions for project areas such as scenic viewsheds, stream corridors, wildlife habitats, and buffers.

Proposed open space projects must be set aside for natural open space purposes, not for developed recreation. However, land acquisition projects intended for low-impact, passive recreation with very limited facilities may be submitted through the Program. 

Project areas include:

  • Buffers/in-holdings
  • Greenways/stream corridors
  • Community separators
  • Agricultural land
  • Natural areas and wildlife habitat
  • Scenic viewsheds
  • Urban open space parcels

For Allowed Open Space Uses, see the chart in the Application listed in Supporting Documents below.

For Eligible Costs, see the Application Instructions listed in Supporting Documents below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 124455

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Term of Contract:

Timeline for Completion: Grantees will have two years from the grant award date to complete open space projects.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This program is open to all entities eligible to receive GOCO open space purpose funds:

- Colorado municipality or county
- Political subdivision of the State of Colorado that includes in its mission the identification, acquisition, or management of open space and natural areas
- Non-profit land conservation organization (land trust or 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that includes in its mission the identification, acquisition, or management of open space and natural areas)
- Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Property Uses: 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 or the local parks and outdoor recreation (LPOR) program.

Acquisition projects intended for high-impact, active recreation with significant facility development should be submitted through GOCO's Local Parks and Outdoor Recreation Grant Program.

For Prohibited Open Space Uses, see the chart in the Application listed in Supporting Documents below.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be submitted to the GOCO Grantee Portal no later than 5 p.m., Thursday, August 15, 2019.

The Programs Committee will meet to discuss staff’s funding recommendations in November 2019. The board decision is tentatively scheduled for December 10, 2019.

Call Alex Castino at Great Outdoors Colorado to determine your project's eligibility and whether it will be competitive. If you would like feedback on a draft of your application, please submit the draft at least one month prior to the application deadline (July 15, 2019). Feel free to contact GOCO at any point during the application process; staff will be happy to assist you.

Conservation Easements: If a grant application requesting funding for a fee title acquisition does not indicate an intent to grant a conservation easement over the acquired property, GOCO will require one. The entity holding the conservation easement interest must differ from the entity holding the fee title interest, and the conservation easement must be in place prior to or concurrent with GOCO’s release of funds. GOCO cannot hold interests in land. GOCO recommends applicants and landowners review GOCO’s Model Conservation Easement, which includes required GOCO provisions, prior to submitting an application.

Match Requirement:

- GOCO will fund no more than 75% of a project’s total eligible costs, although GOCO may waive this limitation in certain hardship cases. A minimum of 25% of all the resources required to complete the project, including the requested GOCO grant, must come from non-GOCO sources.
- For multiple-property projects, individual acquisitions within the project may meet a 15% minimum match (at least 7.5% must be cash), as long as: 1) other acquisitions within the project meet a match greater than 25%, so the overall match for the total project still meets the 25% minimum requirement; and 2) those other acquisitions occur simultaneously or prior to the acquisition presenting the less-than- 25% match. This ensures that GOCO does not over-invest in initial stages of the project, when there is no guarantee the remainder of the project will be accomplished.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For questions, contact:

Alex Castino, Land Protection Program Officer

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Colorado

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