The Great Outdoors Colorado board awarded a $147,092 grant to Wildlands Restoration Volunteers for community-centered stewardship work in Commerce City.
A press statement said the grant is part of GOCO’s Stewardship Impact program, which supports collaborative stewardship work that demonstrates meaningful improvements to ecological and recreational amenities in Colorado.
Two organizations with ties to the Latino community are involved in this grant. One is Promotores Verdes, an initiative of Americas for Conservation + the Arts, which wants to advance cultures of recreation, conservation and public health within outdoor activities. The second is Cultivando, which focuses on the advancement of health equity and promotion of access to natural spaces to confront environmental inequalities in the area, the statement said.
The goal is to identify and organize projects around Commerce City, such as at the Rocky Mountain National Arsenal Wildlife Refuge and Barr Lake State Park in Brighton. Some of the projects could include tree planting in low-canopy areas, native and pollinator plantings, seed collection and removal of invasive species.
“This project was initiated because local residents saw a need and took action. We are excited to be part of a collaborative effort to build connections and address community stewardship needs. Making those connections is a key step in building a culture of stewardship,” said Rachel Brett, youth and inclusiveness director at Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, in a statement.
The Commerce City population is more than half-Black, indigenous and people of color, groups most impacted by industrial air pollution and air quality impacts from climate change, the statement said. The program would promote recreational and educational activities and make outdoor spaces more welcoming and accessible to diverse communities, according to the statement.
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