downtown-manitou-springsGreat Outdoors Colorado approved a $75,000 grant to the city of Manitou Springs to formally evaluate, update and expand its 17-year-old open space plan to become an open space, parks and trails master plan. The plan, according to a news release from the city of Manitou Springs, “will provide a more coordinated and cohesive strategic framework for parks, trails and open space. The revision seeks to incorporate the many significant changes that have taken place in our community in the last several years and include new and future oriented ideas and strategies based on stakeholder input as well as analysis of data gathered from new and impacting sources.”

The release stated that the city of Manitou Springs has budgeted an additional $25,000 to further the project.

Under the guidance and oversight of the city council and staff, the Manitou Springs Open Space Advisory Committee in conjunction with the parks and recreation board (both groups consist of volunteers appointed by the city council) will be tasked with overseeing the planning and implementation process.

The city will hire a consultant who will document residents’ input, desires and interests of the city’s open space, parks and trails, said the release. The consultant will solicit opinions from stakeholders, including Manitou citizens, businesses, developers and land owners as well as organizational and individual users in the region. The release stated a priority will be to closely coordinate with adjoining jurisdictions, including El Paso County, the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Springs Utilities, which manages adjacent land.

GOCO invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created by voters in 1992, GOCO has funded more than 3,500 projects in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. The grants are funded by GOCO’s share of Colorado Lottery revenues, which are divided between GOCO, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Conservation Trust Fund and for school construction. For more information, visit goco.org.