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MEEKER | Colorado Lottery Starburst Awards recognize excellence in the use of Lottery funds for community and conservation projects. For fiscal year 2021, the Colorado Lottery recognizes the Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan (ERBM) Recreation and Park District’s Meeker Circle Park Pond Project in the use of Lottery funds with a Starburst Award. This year, Colorado Lottery proceeds surpassed $3.6 billion.
Over ten years ago, the Town of Meeker, along with support from the northwest regional Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) office, made initial efforts toward the installation of a small one-acre fishing pond at Meeker’s Circle Park. The pond helped improve local fishing and angling educational opportunities and events. In 2017, ERBM’s board of directors approved moving forward with the installation of a new fishing pond at Circle Park. The Board began working with various partner stakeholders toward transforming the shallow, narrow irrigation ditch into a high quality trout fishery to serve local residents, as well as the many out of town travelers already frequenting the camping, RV, dump station, and various recreational amenities available at Town Park and Circle Park.
Of the total $675,711 project cost, CPW provided $100,000, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) gave $20,000, and the Town of Meeker gave $12,000 from the Conservation Trust Fund (CTF) to the project. The new fishing pond will provide a venue for ERBM and CPW staff to collaboratively host family fishing days/clinics and youth outreach events to teach the value of fish and wildlife conservation to a new generation of Coloradoans. Meeker School District science classes, whose facilities are within walking distance and are already collecting observation data in the adjacent White River, would have an additional venue to conduct studies and take field trips.
More than $10.5 million in Lottery funds are represented in 11 winning projects distributed statewide through grants via Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the Conservation Trust Fund (CTF), Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), and Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST).
“Conservation is a key pillar for the Lottery. It includes not only conserving open space, but also upgrading recreational spaces, creating new places for Coloradans to play, and supporting ecosystems and wildlife,” said Tom Seaver, director of the Colorado Lottery. “This year’s Starburst Award winners aptly reflect the wide ranging projects that our proceeds support. With now $3.6 billion going to our proceeds beneficiaries, we continue to look for new ways to grow revenue responsibly to protect more of Colorado’s great outdoors.”
Submissions include programs and projects such as parks, playgrounds, outdoor recreation facilities, land conservation, trail enhancement, open space acquisition, wildlife natural resource preservation, and public school improvements.
About Colorado Lottery:
Since 1983, the Colorado Lottery has returned more than $3.6 billion to outdoor projects and schools through Great Outdoors Colorado, the Conservation Trust Fund, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Building Excellent Schools Today. Proceeds from sales of Colorado Lottery games enhance, protect, improve parks, trails, and open space in Colorado. For more information, visit coloradolottery.com.
PRESS RELEASE | Special to the Herald Times