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Lamar receives sizable grant aimed at getting youth outdoors

Russ Baldwin
The Prowers Journal

The city of Lamar is receiving $1.3 million from a portion of Colorado lottery proceeds from Great Outdoors Colorado to invest in local parks and trails with an eye toward getting youth outdoors.

According to the Prowers Journal, Lamar will use the funds to invest in 18 programs and associated pathway opportunities with the goal of bringing new experiences to youth like fishing, camping and biking, as well as an affordable outdoor gear library that will provide them with the equipment needed to do those activities.

Lamar was one of six Inspire Initiative pilot communities selected by the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) board to receive $13.5 million in grants as part of the Inspire Initiative, which will be used to transform North Gateway and Willow Creek parks, both of which are easily accessible from the Lamar Loop trail.

The Inspire Initiative, according to Great Outdoors Colorado’s website, is a five-year strategy aimed at inspiring Coloradans, particularly youth, to appreciate and take care of the state’s great outdoors.

In total, according to the Prowers Journal, Inspire will impact nearly 42,000 youth and create more than 520 jobs in the six pilot communities’ services areas, which in addition to Lamar include Northeast Metro Denver, Denver’s Westwood neighborhood, Lafayette, Leadville and the San Luis Valley.

Great Outdoors Colorado, according to its website, was created by voters in 1992 to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open spaces.