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CPW News Release
CPW News Release
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3/21/2021
Colorado invests $20 million of general fund into state park capital improvements


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Bridget Kochel
Statewide Public Information Officer

303-219-7795 / 720-219-2919
bridget.kochel@state.co.us

Colorado invests $20 million of general fund into state park capital improvements

Governor Jared Polis signs the bill at Cherry Creek State Park. 
DENVER – Today, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is pleased to announce that Governor Polis signed bill SB21-112 that appropriates $20 million of the state general fund for capital improvements for increased access at certain state parks. The bill is a component of a bipartisan stimulus effort developed by the Governor and the General Assembly to jumpstart Colorado’s economy through investments in infrastructure projects.

This conservation-focused legislation will help direct funds to outdoor projects in Colorado that protect irreplaceable public lands and expand outdoor recreation opportunities in the state. The bill was signed at Cherry Creek State Park, one of the parks that will receive funding to expand park facilities, which includes the construction of a new educational center facility and modernize restroom amenities at the swim beach.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado state parks saw explosive growth in park attendance as Colorado residents and out-of-state visitors sought outdoor and socially distanced activities. State parks usage grew by 2.2 million visitor days from the 2014-15 state fiscal year and a further 30 percent during the spring of 2020.

CPW will use the additional funding toward park enhancements and expansions necessary to meet the needs of park visitors and upgrade infrastructures to ensure Colorado state parks offer quality outdoor adventures for current and future generations. Examples of park projects will include building new trails, service buildings, campgrounds and shooting bays. 

“Throughout the pandemic, we watched our Colorado community flock to our state parks in record numbers for solace and the mental and health benefits associated with spending time outdoors,” said Governor Jared Polis. “The increase in park visitation proves the importance of outdoor spaces to Coloradans, and our collective need to invest in preserving and improving our state park system so our human use does not overwhelm our state’s natural resources. This increased funding, which is part of Colorado’s bipartisan stimulus package, will provide additional access and recreational opportunities that connect people to the outdoors and protect the landscapes that make Colorado so spectacular.”

Accelerating the development of Colorado’s newest state park, Fishers Peak State Park, and improving amenities at eleven other state parks will relieve pressure from such high usage and prepare for future demand.

“I applaud the leadership of the Governor and state legislators for the additional critical funding for our treasured state parks,” said Dan Gibbs, Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “The importance of our state parks and visiting our vast Great Outdoors has never been more important than today. This targeted funding will enhance Coloradan's visitor experience to our state parks for generations to come.” 

CPW will use the appropriation for capital construction projects at the following locations:
  • Boyd Lake State Park
  • Lake Pueblo State Park
  • Fishers Peak State Park
  • Cherry Creek State Park
  • Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
  • Ridgway State Park
  • Steamboat Lake State Park
  • North Sterling State Park
  • Chatfield State Park
  • Jackson Lake State Park
  • Navajo State Park
  • Cameo Shooting and Education Complex
“We all have an obligation to our lands, waters and wildlife to recreate responsibly and monitor how our increased outdoor activities impact the places we play,” said CPW Director Dan Prenzlow. “More Coloradans are enjoying our great outdoors - and this additional funding will help our agency expand park facilities based on the evolving needs of our park visitors to ensure we can maintain a quality park system for years to come.”
 
Colorado Parks and Wildlife currently manages Colorado’s 42 state parks. State parks offer important places for outdoor recreation while also benefiting local economies, public health and residents’ quality of life. Public funding for state parks provides valuable contributions to conserving state lands for future generations.

CPW remains committed to collaborating with statewide conservation stakeholders and recreation partners to help secure a quality park system and successful wildlife legacy for Colorado. To learn more about CPW’s conservation principles and priorities, visit cpw.state.co.us
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CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.
   
Copyright © 2021 Colorado Parks and Wildlife, All rights reserved.
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