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Baca County receives $350,000 GOCO Grant for Baca County Fairgrounds

 

DENVER – Today the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board awarded Baca County $350,000 to make needed improvements to its fairgrounds. The project was one of 17 Local Park and Outdoor Recreation grants awarded by GOCO from a pool of 54 applications.

Baca County Fairgrounds welcomes a wide variety of events, including rodeos, tractor pulls, 4-H competitions, grandstand concerts, and a free community BBQ. The fairground also hosts many non-agricultural events throughout the year, including proms, weddings, church revivals, craft shows, jury selections, markets, and community meetings. Though the fairground hosts more than 11,000 people annually, which is three times the population of Baca County, significant updates to the grounds have not been made since 1957.

Decades of exposure to the elements has rusted many of the fences and livestock pens, and drainage flows directly into the arena and grandstand. Wire shortages have caused blackouts in the arena. With the help of GOCO funds, Baca County will address the critical drainage issues, replace arena materials, make improvements to fencing and lighting, and construct a new multi-use building to include participant dressing rooms, showers, and bathrooms. ADA accessibility will be incorporated into the designs.

The project goals are to ensure public safety, encourage more participants in rodeo events, improve the county’s primary outdoor recreation facility, and boost community and economic development. Improvements to the county’s fairgrounds are also important to preserving the rich agricultural history of Baca County.

The county aims to begin construction in September 2019 with a grand opening slated for July 2020.

To date, GOCO has invested $1.1 million in projects in Baca County and has conserved more than 6,000 acres of land there. GOCO funding has supported Walsh Swimming Pool renovations, Baca County Community Track and Football Field renovations, and Prairie Park playground, among various other projects.

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 5,200 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.

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