Larimer County Parks and Open Lands recently received two grants from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) totaling $459,000 to be used in the Horsetooth Park and Reservoir area.
The two grants have been awarded to the county from GOCO to help expand the land around Horsetooth and also to aid in the remodeling of the Inlet Center, according to Kerri Traynor, fund development and outreach specialist for Larimer County Parks.
“Both grants that have been awarded will go toward the Horsetooth area. One will be used for the Inlet Bay Visitor Area and the other will be used for a 288-acre addition to the southwest side of the existing Horsetooth Park,” Traynor said.
The land that is being acquired will remain a protected area, and that will help add to the beauty of the area and the surroundings and feel of the park, Traynor said.
The Inlet area will also have many advantages for park users after the reconstruction is completed, Traynor said.
“The (Inlet Area) project will include expanding the boat ramp and day use areas for people to use,” Traynor said.
In addition to new picnic tables and barbecues, the inlet area will have a one mile trail connecting the Horsetooth Area with Rimrock Open Space, giving park users better access to both of these areas from the other, Traynor said.
“The trail will serve as a regional connection from the two areas and it will serve as a passage for campers to Inlet Bay,” said Traynor.
The grants received by the area are not small accomplishments, said Chris Leding, the communications director for GOCO.
“We receive three times as many requests for dollars as GOCO has dollars available to give away,” Leding said.
Larimer County was chosen to receive the grants because of the nature of the projects being completed and also because of the history of the county, Leding said.
“Larimer County has a very strong track record of getting projects done and completed,” Leding said.
“We also like to see connectivity in the things we fund, and the Inlet Area will be a project that will have high public use,” Leding said.
GOCO, which is flooded each year with grant requests, believes that Larimer County is a good choice because Larimer County’s requests match the goals of the GOCO organization.
“The grants given to Larimer County meet all of the GOCO missions,” Leding said.
As for Mitch Blanc, a retailer from Nebraska who is vacationing in Colorado, the grants seem like good ideas.
“My family and I have been coming out this way for many years,” Blanc said, as he set up an early picnicking spot for the day at the Inlet Area.
“The more land out here being protected and preserved is a great thing,” Blanc said. “Maybe with a little more of it, my kids can bring their kids here and have the same great views to look at as I do today.”