Gov. Hickenlooper announces $13M for flood recovery projects

Gov. Hickenlooper announced $13 million to fund flood recovery projects on April 9, 2014. (Photo: Great Outdoors Colorado)

Gov. Hickenlooper announced $13 million to fund flood recovery projects on April 9, 2014. (Photo: Great Outdoors Colorado)

LYONS, Colo. — Great Outdoors Colorado has approved $13 million in funds for flood recovery projects, Governor John Hickenlooper announced Wednesday.

GOCO issued a press release Wednesday afternoon stating that the $13 million will go towards efforts to help communities rebuild damaged park, trails and open spaces, as well as fund a trail corridor between Lyons and Estes Park — the corridor will be built in conjunction with Highway 36 flood reconstruction already underway.

“It’s springtime, and Coloradans and tourists are ready to hit trails, and enjoy all that the outdoors in Colorado have to offer,” Hickenlooper said. “Thanks to these GOCO funds, which will support volunteer-based flood recovery projects, we can build back better, stronger and more sustainable access to our most treasured Colorado locations.”

According to the release, the projects approved by the GOCO board include $5 million to go towards emergency grants for 14 flood recovery efforts in Boulder, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Morgan and Weld counties to restore damaged park, trails and open spaces.

Eight million dollars will be reserved for a partnership with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado Department of Transportation to fund the trail corridor between Lyons and Estes Park.

Hickenlooper also announced the commitment of over $100,000 in private funds for smaller grants to help local communities affected by the floods rebuild outdoor recreation facilities, parks and trails.

“The damage is extensive but this will help communities get started on restoring popular parks or trails or start the planning process to figure out how best to rebuild,” said Lise Aangeenbrug, GOCO executive director. “In some cases, reopening damaged parks quickly is vital to a community’s economic recovery.”