PICT Visitors to Camp Amache

Camp Amache among Outdoor Equity Grant recipients

Visitors to Camp Amache

Colorado Governor Jared Polis, the Outdoor Equity Grant Board, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) announced the recipients of over $2.2 million in Outdoor Equity Grants. These grants support organizations that break down barriers to Colorado’s outdoors and create inclusive opportunities for all.

“Colorado’s world-class outdoors are a big part of who we are and everyone in our state deserves to experience our wild areas,” said Governor Polis. “We are excited to support the terrific work of these outdoor recreation grant recipients who are working to expand access and create opportunities for more Coloradans to enjoy our great outdoors.”

The Outdoor Equity Grant Program (OEGP), created in 2021 by the passage of House Bill 21-1318, funds community, education, and government organizations that increase access for youth to recreation, conservation, and career opportunities in the outdoors. 

“It’s been exciting as a board to guide the Outdoor Equity Grant Program from an idea to distributing millions of dollars to deserving projects,” said Loretta Pineda, who holds the conservation seat on the OEGP Board. “We’ve continued to see the number of requests grow, and while we’ve been able to increase the number of grants supporting youth across the state, there’s still an immense need for funding for youth programs that provide equitable access to nature and the outdoors.”

The Outdoor Equity Grant Board accepted applications in the late summer and selected 35 organizations to receive grants this December. Outdoor Equity Grants, funded through the Colorado Lottery, will reach youth across the state, from Larimer County to Montezuma County. Grants will support activities like engaging youth in the creation of a management plan for the newly-designated Amache National Historic Site in Granada, providing equestrian therapy to Native families in Colorado Springs, and bolstering environmental education efforts in the Southwest corner of the state.

Last year, the Polis Administration and the OEGP Board announced the initial allocation of Outdoor Equity Grants, distributing $3.1 million in investments to youth and family-serving organizations across the state. Today’s announcement brings total investment in youth programming to over $5 million through funding from the Colorado Lottery since the creation of the OEGP.

“The Outdoor Equity Grant Program and Board are paramount to Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s mission,” said CPW Director Jeff Davis. “Our work shines brightest when we work with our partners toward shared goals, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with communities to inspire the next generation of Colorado’s recreationists and stewards.”

Over the past year and a half, grants have supported mountain biking teams for young women in Central Colorado through programming with The Cycle Effect, adaptive skiing lessons at Purgatory Resort through the Adaptive Sports Center, outdoor curriculum creation for Native youth in Towaoc, and a myriad of other outdoor and educational activities.

"Mother Earth gave us this land and the great outdoors in Colorado, and now the Outdoor Equity Grant Program is making it a living experience for our most sacred ones, the children.  The sacredness of the outdoor experiences cannot be measured in dollars as it is a gift of a lifetime with wonderful lifelong memories,” said OEGP board member Rick Williams.

The Outdoor Equity Grant application opens annually each fall. The next application period will open in August 2024 and aims to distribute up to $2.75 million in grants. 

“Congratulations to the grant recipients and the many Coloradans who will benefit with more opportunities to experience and enjoy our great outdoors,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.  “I appreciate the work of our Outdoor Equity Grant Board for their time and bringing their experience and knowledge to expand these grants and opportunities to more deserving organizations and programs. It is so encouraging to watch this Program grow and expand to all regions of Colorado.  Also, we are looking for more Board members to continue the great work of the grants and bring more funds to eligible non-profit organizations and programs. Details are available via CPW’s Board Member Application. ” 

CPW is currently accepting applications for Board members responsible for the governance of the Outdoor Equity Grant Program. Applicants should apply by Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. CPW is seeking to fill the following four board member seats:

  • One member personally impacted by and with experience in environmental justice issues
  • One member with experience working on conservation issues
  • Two youth members (age 25 and younger) from communities impacted by the grant program

The Board Member Application and additional application resources are posted on the CPW website

Outdoor Equity Grant recipients for 2023

  • Adaptive Sports Association - Durango - $75,000
  • Adaptive Sports Center - Mt. Crested Butte - $40,000
  • Amache Alliance - Granada - $50,000
  • Ute Mountain Ute Tribe - Towaoc - $50,000
  • Colorado Asian Culture And Education Network - Aurora - $100,000
  • Colorado Center for the Blind - Littleton - $50,000
  • African Leadership Group - Aurora - $25,000
  • Cottonwood Institute - Denver - $50,000
  • Crowley Foundation, Inc. - Denver - $100,000
  • Denver Indian Center, Inc. - Denver - $75,000
  • Easterseals Colorado - Lakewood - $41,527
  • elevateHER - Nathrop - $60,940
  • Families Plus - Delta - $25,750
  • Fort Collins High School - Fort Collins - $21,525
  • Fortaleza Familiar - Denver - $99,550
  • Groundwork Denver - Denver - $99,012
  • Haseya Advocate Program - Colorado Springs - $78,825
  • High Valley Community Center, Inc. - Del Norte - $70,784
  • Huerfano Re-1 School District and Walsenburg Jr./Sr. High School - Walsenburg - $26,065
  • Inside Out Youth Services - Colorado Springs - $99,918
  • International Rescue Committee - Denver - $50,000
  • Montezuma Inspire Coalition - Cortez - $100,000
  • Mountain Dreamers  - Frisco - $100,000
  • Mountain Pride - Edwards - $45,100
  • Right Relationship Boulder - Boulder - $50,000
  • San Juan Mountains Association - Durango - $75,000
  • San Luis Valley Great Outdoors! - Alamosa - $100,000
  • SOS Outreach - Edwards - $65,000
  • The Cycle Effect - Eagle - $100,000
  • Urban Peak - Denver - $24,000
  • Vibe Tribe Adventures - Denver - $40,000
  • Wilderness Workshop - Carbondale - $17,105
  • Women's Wilderness - Boulder - $100,000
  • Young Masterminds Initiative - Aurora - $95,000
  • Youth Club of Trinidad - Trinidad - $40,000