FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2013
The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board has approved funding for the Montrose Water Sports Park, River Trail and Field Renovation project, bringing $259,384 in lottery proceeds to Montrose. The project is one of eight that were selected for funding from a statewide field of 51 project proposals that were submitted under GOCO’s Spring 2013 Local Parks and Outdoor Recreation grant cycle.
Strong intergovernmental collaboration distinguished the proposal from others in the extremely competitive grant cycle. “We would have absolutely not received this funding if all three GOCO-eligible agencies in Montrose (Montrose Recreation District (MRD), the City and the County), did not come together like they did,” stated MRD Executive Director Ken Sherbenou. “We are very grateful for the partnerships that made this effort successful, which will improve our community’s parks and recreation infrastructure.”
City Manager Bill Bell emphasizes the need for even more intergovernmental cooperation. “Montrose taxpayers have asked us all to work together in a creative fashion to make things happen here in our community,” he said. “This successful venture is a great example of that spirit of collaboration working out for the best. It will benefit not only the residents and visitors of today, but it also creates a recreational and tourist attraction that will be used by thousands over the next decade.”
In addition to a significant cash match provided by all three Montrose GOCO-eligible entities, the project has the support and involvement of other key partners: the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Montrose Recreation Foundation, LiveWell Montrose-Olathe, Friends of the River Uncompahgre, Welcome Home Montrose and the Montrose Community Foundation.
Project improvements include the Montrose Water Sports Park, a whitewater park on the Uncompahgre River through Baldridge Park that will support kayaking, tubing, swimming and spectating. Also, nearly 2,000 feet of concrete trail, 1,900 feet of soft-surface trail and signage will be installed along the river. Montrose citizens chose a whitewater park and river trails as their highest priority projects during the Uncompahgre Riverway Master Plan process.
“The City of Montrose is excited about being able to further implement concepts from the Uncompahgre Riverway Master Plan,” said Montrose Mayor Judy Ann Files. “The water sports park has been a dream of city staff and community members for several years. We are very appreciative of the GOCO board approving our request for funding.”
Two additional citizen surveys showed widespread support for the other project components that include a sensory playground, fitness stations, picnic tables and baseball/softball field upgrades at the Ute/McNeil Fields. These improvements will enhance safety for baseball/softball participants and provide new amenities for other park users.
GOCO is the result of a citizens’ initiative passed by the voters in 1992. As the recipient of approximately half of Colorado Lottery proceeds―$57 million in Fiscal Year 2012―GOCO awards grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. Since 1994, nearly 3,500 projects in all 64 counties have received GOCO funding―Montrose County projects have received $2.7 million in GOCO grants.