ECO Trails

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    Fax: 970-328-3539

    ECO Trails
    P.O. Box 1070
    3289 Cooley Mesa Road
    Gypsum, CO 81637 

    ecotrails@eaglecounty.us

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Eagle County receives $2M Connect Initiative grant from GOCO to close gaps in Eagle Valley Trail

Contacts: Rosemary Dempsey, Great Outdoors Colorado, 303-226-4530, rdempsey@goco.org
Laura Cardon, Great Outdoors Colorado, 303-226-4531, lcardon@goco.org
Ellie Caryl, ECO Trails Program Manager, 970-328-3523, ellie.caryl@eaglecounty.us

Oct. 7, 2016 - Today the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board awarded a $2 million grant to Eagle County to construct 6.5 miles of the Eagle Valley Trail, connecting the Town of Eagle with Horn Ranch Open Space and taking a significant step toward closing the upvalley - downvalley gap in the trail system. The grant was one of the first ever Connect Initiative grants awarded by GOCO.
 
Since 1996, Eagle County and its partners have worked to build a trail system connecting the entire Eagle River Valley to Glenwood Canyon, Summit County, and the Rio Grande Trail in Garfield and Pitkin counties.  Ultimately, the planned 63-mile Eagle Valley Trail (EVT) will contribute to nearly 193 miles of continuous paved trail for walkers, bikers, and other recreationists in the intermountain region.
 
This segment of the EVT was the top-ranked of six funded projects, and is the result of the collaborative effort of nine partners including local and federal government and private corporations and landowners. Governor Hickenlooper named the entire EVT a Colorado the Beautiful: 16 in 2016 trail in January of 2016, making it one of the state’s highest priority trail projects.
 
The total project cost is $7 million with $4.8 million funded by Eagle County and $200,000 by Town of Eagle, matching the $2 million grant from GOCO.

This segment will complete nearly half of the remaining 17 miles of the EVT, starting near Nogal Gulch Road in Eagle and ending at Horn Ranch Open Space. The project will create safe access separate from Highway 6, where pedestrians and bicyclists attempt to use the one- to three-foot shoulder; provide close-to-home access to the outdoors and safe, inexpensive commuting alternatives for residents; and promote the area’s outdoor-recreation based economic development.  The project is slated to start construction in April 2017, opening to the public in June 2018.
 
This Connect Initiative grant for the Town of Eagle to Horn Ranch Open Space segment of the EVT is one of six awards that will move highly demanded trail projects forward. Together all six projects will construct more than 23 miles of trail and leverage nearly $25 million in local matching dollars. Over the next three years GOCO’s Connect Initiative will invest $30 million in closing trail gaps and creating safe access for all Coloradans to the outdoors.
 
To date, GOCO has invested $18.3 million in Eagle County, preserving more than 4,500 acres of land. GOCO funding has supported Sylvan State Park, Eagle Information Center’s boat ramp, and the Eagle Valley Trail. Eagle County was also recently named a GOCO Inspire community and will be part of a $25 million initiative to get kids outside.
 
Great Outdoors Colorado (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 when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 4,800 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.

GOCO commissioners 2016