Governor Polis, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Grow the Outdoor Regional Partnerships Initiative to Advance Conservation and Enjoyment of Colorado’s Outdoors

Tuesday, July 11, 2023


DENVER - Today, Governor Polis, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) announced the fourth round of funding recipients of the Outdoor Regional Partnerships Initiative. This grant program supports coalitions that bring broad interests together to ensure that Colorado’s lands and waters thrive to sustain healthy wildlife and treasured outdoor recreation opportunities. With the Regional Partnership Initiative, conservation and outdoor recreation interests, land managers and local government are working together to tackle challenges and advance opportunities for innovative approaches for stewarding Colorado’s outdoors. 


This grant opportunity is the result of a landmark Executive Order signed by Governor Polis creating the Outdoor Regional Partnerships Initiative. This effort charts a long-term, equitable, and sustainable vision for the future of Colorado’s outdoors that is driven by bottom-up community planning.


“Colorado’s world-class outdoors is home to unique wildlife, natural resources, and exciting recreation opportunities. Through the Regional Partnerships Initiative, we are working across sectors and levels of government to expand and support conservation efforts to ensure our outdoors are preserved for the future. I am grateful to the 16 regional partnership grant recipients working to advance this goal and protect the outdoors," said Governor Polis.


“The Regional Partnerships Initiative is a critical piece in Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s efforts to help build regional support for balancing recreation and conservation in Colorado. When organizations and individuals work together on behalf of public and private lands and waters, it ensures communities are healthy, livable and prosperous for future generations,” said CPW Director Jeff Davis. 


Governor Polis and CPW launched this initiative in 2020 with funding support from GOCO. This grant cycle doubles the amount of money invested in Outdoor Regional Partnerships to $3 million with another round of grant funding opening in the fall of 2023.


“Ensuring a future for Colorado’s outdoors requires the expertise of communities across our great state, who have a deep understanding of critical natural resources and recreation opportunities in the regions they call home,” said GOCO Executive Director, Jackie Miller. “GOCO is incredibly excited for the priorities and plans that will be elevated by the Regional Partnerships Initiative, which will inform a responsive, regionally-rooted statewide strategy for the years ahead.”


With this funding round, there are now 16 Regional Partnerships. Grant recipients include nine coalitions based in Colorado’s front range, central mountain region, western slope, and southwestern corner. 


Regional Partnership Grant Funding Recipients:


Envision Chaffee County ($197,479)  

Envision Chaffee County officially joined the Regional Partnership Initiative in 2021, which energized the coalition to share their model, resources and lessons learned. With 2023 funding, Chaffee will continue to plan and pilot solutions to regional challenges, including Wilderness Areas and trails system management, camping management, funding, and climate resilience. 


Metro Denver Nature Alliance ($250,000)  

Metro DNA, serving Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties, is a Regional Partnership of non-profit, government, research, and private sector partners seeking to align nature-based efforts to ensure more equitable access to nature and to promote healthy people, communities, and natural places. This award will be used to hire planning and outreach support for the development of a Regional Vision for People + Nature to build off the work they’ve accomplished since 2021. 


Montelores Coalition ($100,000)

Montezuma and Dolores Counties join the Regional Partnership Initiative as the Montelores Coalition. With funding, they will build a partnership to develop strategic regional priorities and initiatives that foster sustainable outdoor recreation and conservation of natural resources to serve the unique needs of Colorado’s southwest corner. 


NoCo PLACES 2050 ($102,532)

(Northern Colorado People, Land, Access, Conservation, Ecosystems, and Sustainability)

Representing Boulder, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Jefferson, and Larimer Counties, NoCo PLACES has been a part of the Regional Partnership Initiative since 2021. This grant award supports further advancement of a conservation and recreation vision through stakeholder engagement, community outreach and communications.


Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance ($128,000)

Since 2021 Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance has been developing a regional plan that serves El Paso, Fremont, and Teller Counties. With continued funding, they will conduct public engagement meetings, complete surveys and data analyses, and finalize a conservation and recreation vision for the region. 


Routt Recreation & Conservation Roundtable ($250,000)

Joining the Regional Partnership Initiative in 2021, this Roundtable serves Routt County by providing a community forum that improves the balance between conservation and recreation. Awarded funding will help this coalition finalize a Conservation and Recreation Plan, host public meetings, and conduct research and mapping to inform regional priorities. 


San Luis Valley Great Outdoors (SLV GO!) ($250,000)

The SLV GO! Coalition works within all six counties of the San Luis Valley: Costilla, Conejos, Alamosa, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache. Funding will help this coalition develop and implement a regional Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Plan by supporting community outreach, research pathways, and data analysis. 


Southwest Colorado Conservation & Outdoor Recreation Roundtable ($99,390)

This new coalition based in Southwest Colorado will use awarded funding to convene diverse users and voices from the region to develop common ground, share up-to-date information, and chart a course for the region to identify overarching goals and strategies related to conservation and recreation.


Two Rivers Recreation and Conservation Roundtable ($75,000)

Serving Montrose, Delta, and Mesa counties, Two Rivers has been working to formalize it’s steering committee, operations, and decision-making guidelines since it first received funding in 2022. With this award, the coalition will identify priorities and projects to balance conservation, wildlife, and recreation through data gathering, public input, and mapping. 


For more information, please see the Regional Partnerships Initiative page on the CPW website.