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Outdoor Equity Grant Program
Outdoor Equity Grant Program

​Upcoming Board Meetings

Apply for an Outdoor Equity Grant

​The next Outdoor Equity Grant Cycle will open in August 2023. Organizations interested in applying for the 2023 Outdoor Equity Grant should review the gr​ant ​g​u​ide for instructions on how to apply. ​​

Questions and Answers

View the Q&A Sessions from the Fall 2022 Outdoor Equity Grant cycle at the links below and access the Outdoor Equity Grant Program Frequently Asked Questions document.

Key Dates

IMPORTANT: The 2022 Fall Grant Cycle is CLOSED.

  • Grant Opens - August 22​, 2022

  • Q&A Session - September 8, 2022
    • ​9:00am - 10:30am 
    • 4:00pm - 5:30pm

  • Grant Deadline - September 30, 2022, at 5 pm

  • Applicants Notified of Grant Decision - December 15, 2022

  • Grants Awarded - March 31​​, 2023

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the 2022 Fall grant cycle, please contact Outdoor Equity Grant Program Manager, Andrea Kurth, at​

About the Outdoor Equity Grant Program 

House Bill 21-1318 is the product of an incredible community effort to create a grant program for outdoor organizations focused on creating opportunities for youth and their families from communities who have been historically excluded, so that they have equitable opportunities to get involved in recreational activities and experiencing Colorado’s open spaces, state parks, public lands and other outdoor areas. ​​The bill funds the grant program through a redistribution of lottery money that is earmarked for the general fund. Find funding details in the text of HB21-1318.​ ​​

Program focus should aim to address one or more of the following issues: the racial inequities young Coloradans face in accessing the outdoors, improving environmental justice, accessibility to the outdoors for Colorado youth from historically excluded communities including black, Indigenous, and youth of color, LGBTQIA2S+ youth, youth with disabilities, immigrant and refugee youth, and low-income youth; providing environmental, experiential, outdoor, or stewardship and conservation education.

Programs or projects should strive to be culturally responsive. They should raise awareness of and or seek to address the root cause of the disparities Colorado youth experience while trying to access the outdoors, whether youth are from an urban, innercity environment or a rural community. Our goal is to build the Colorado of our future through strategic investments that improve the lives and well-being of youth and their families.

2022 Grants Have Been Awarded

Congratulations to our 2022 Colorado Outdoor Equity Grant Awardees​!                                                                                                                         
​Grant recipients must have programs or project focuses that address one or more of the following issues faced by Colorado youth (0-25) and their families: racial inequities in accessing the outdoors, improving environmental justice, accessibility to the outdoors for black, Indigenous, and youth of color, LGBTQIA2S+ youth, youth with disabilities, immigrant and refugee youth, and low-income youth​; providing environmental, experiential, outdoor, and or stewardship and conservation education for future career development.

​Outdoor Equity Board Vision and Commitment​

​The Colorado Outdoor Equity Grant Board share a vision to change the system that has excluded black, Indigenous, and youth of color, LGBTQIA2S+ youth, youth with disabilities, immigrant and refugee youth, and low-income youth from equitable access to outdoor recreation, nature-based education, and career development​.

This inaugural Board is committed to bringing about transformative change in Colorado.

Nature access is a fundamental human right, but it is denied to far too many young people. Our hope is to fund and support diverse organizations that provide outdoor education and recreation experiences to underserved youth and families. We are committed to providing funding to organizations that have been unable to apply for this type of assistance due to organizational barriers. The funding opportunities are intended to assist organizations in developing, continuing or accelerating their work. 

The Outdoor Equity Grant is a first step toward working collaboratively to improve access, representation, meaningful participation, and quality experiences for Colorado’s youth and families in the outdoors. This step is just the beginning, and we will live up to our values showing up authentically for our communities now and in the future.​​

​About the Board 

The council is responsible for the governance of the grant program and may award grants to applicants that will directly utilize the grant to engage eligible youth and their families by reducing barriers to the Colorado outdoors. Board members will serve for 4 years. Board members may not serve more than 2 terms.

One-year term for:

  • ​​One youth member with experience in any of the indentied communities for service by the grant

Two-year term for:

As we work to establish the Board, the term limits for the racial justice, environmental justice and conservation will be limited to two years initially. 

  • One member who is personally impacted by and has experience in racial justice issues 
  • One member who is personally impacted by and has experience in environmental justice issues 
  • One member with experience working on conservation issues
  • Two youth members with experience in any of the identified communities for service by the grant
Four-year term for: 
  • One member with experience in providing outdoor education programs
  • One member personally impacted by and with experience in disability-accessible outdoor programming
  • One member personally impacted by and has experience working in equity for individuals who identify as LGBTQ+

Board Members

Yesica Chavez

Yesica Chavez

Yesica is a first-generation graduate who earned a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Ethnic Studies from the University of Colorado Denver. She coordinated various projects in the environmental justice, sustainability, and equity/inclusion sectors while earning her bachelor's degree. As a young person herself, she understood the importance of including young people in decision-making that affects our future. She grew up in Denver and remembers seeing the mountains from a distance from her home in Montbello, but she never felt connected to them. She hopes that by serving on this board, she will be able to help close the gap between underserved youth and outdoor recreation by funding programs that are already doing so or hoping to start. In her free time she likes to hike, rock climb, snowboard and spend time with her family.

Conor Hall

Conor Hall

Conor, who hails from the mountains of Southwest Colorado, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Earlham College with a degree in Politics. From 2015-2019, he served in the administration of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, holding a number of roles including Manager of Special Initiatives, Director of External Affairs, and Senior Advisor to the Governor. He served as a Senior Advisor on Climate and Conservation on Michael Bloomberg’s 2020 presidential campaign. Until recently, he worked for The Trust for Public Land as the Director of Conservation Strategies & Policy Advocacy for the West, working to create tens of billions of dollars in funding for conservation. In early 2022, he was appointed by Governor Polis to lead the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry. He is an avid outdoorsman and proudly serves on the nonprofit boards of First Descents and Stand for Courage.

Jon Kreamelmeyer

Jon Kreamelmeyer

Jon Kreamelmeyer spent three decades coaching, teaching and working with at-risk youths in Colorado’s Summit County High School; he retired after the 1999 school year ended. In 1999, Kreamelmeyer took the job as U.S. Ski Team’s disabled cross country head coach. He originally joined the U.S. Disabled Ski Team as a guide for Michele Drolet, the first American woman to earn a Paralympic cross country ski medal. During his time as head coach, U.S. skiers won two bronze medals, the first relay medal for U.S. athletes and three podiums in Torino in 2006. Kreamelmeyer retired from the U.S. Paralympic team in 2011, but he continues to serve as a technical classifier for the International Paralympic Committee. He was selected as Coach of the Year by U.S. Olympic Committee in 2000 and in 2014 was inducted into the Visa International Paralympic Hall of Fame during the Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.

Jackie Miller

Jackie Miller

As GOCO’s Executive Director, Jackie is a convener who is passionate about facilitating partnerships across organizations, developing strong and supportive teams, and connecting people with opportunities that will help them grow personally and professionally. Over the course of nearly two decades in the grant-making industry, including 15 years at Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Jackie has created, managed, and directed initiatives to impact others’ lives. In 2015 she spearheaded the launch of Generation Wild, an unprecedented movement in Colorado to connect youth and families with the outdoors. Collaborating with the GOCO Board, stakeholders, partners, and constituents across the state has provided Jackie with a ground-up perspective of program development and grant management as well as in-depth strategic planning and direction experience. Jackie received her bachelor’s from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont.

Brayhan Fernando Reveles Olivas

Brayhan Fernando Reveles Olivas

Since his early youth, Brayhan has been supporting and working toward building a better community, advocating for language justice, toppling barriers to the outdoors, and improving equity for youth and Latinas in Colorado. Brayhan grew up in Leadville at the heart of the Colorado Rockies. While the region is considered an outdoor and recreational Mecca by Coloradans and international tourists, it contains socioeconomic barriers for immigrant, low-income, and nonwhite communities. Brayhan has been working to dismantle persisting outdoor industry barriers so that recreational participation and career pathways are accessible to all. Through participation on this board, he hopes to continue to help the Colorado community with a “nothing for us, without us” mindset because bringing diverse voices to the table strengthens a group’s progress toward equity, inclusivity, and achieving a shared goal. He is currently working towards a B.S. in Business Administration after completing an A.A. in Outdoor Education at Colorado Mountain College.

Loretta Pineda

Loretta Pineda

Loretta Pineda has had a long and distinguished career in natural resources protection and non-profit management. She has spent decades advocating for equity and inclusion in outdoor spaces in Colorado. In 2014, Loretta retired after 33 years of service from the State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources, where she served as Division Director of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety. After a brief flirtation with retirement, she spent six years as the Executive Director of Environmental Learning for Kids, where she helped expand educational outdoor experiences and environmental education opportunities for culturally diverse youth while leading a $6 million campaign to restore open space and build an education center in the Montbello neighborhood before retiring in 2021. In her re-retirement, she serves on several boards dedicated to youth development and environmental protection.

Michal Rosenoer

Michal Rosenoer

Michal Rosenoer is a political strategist and government affairs professional. She has over 12 years of experience in environmental policy, outdoor recreation management, rural affairs, and electoral strategy. Michal currently works as Hipcamp's Government Affairs Manager for the U.S. and Canada, and previously served as the Executive Director for Emerge Colorado. She is on the governance council for Together Outdoors, a national coalition of outdoor industry organizations working together to make the outdoors more accessible for all, and was appointed to the Chaffee County Housing Authority in 2021. She formerly served as an elected city councilor and the only out-LGBTQ member of the council for the City of Edgewater, CO. Michal is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

Chris Rothenberger

Chris Rothenberger

Chris Rothenberger is an Agile Software Development Coach at CVS Health in Denver. Prior to coaching in software development, Chris was a classroom teacher and outdoor education program director in Albuquerque, NM. When not helping people frame and solve their practice and process problems, he and his fiancé Lonnell spend their free time camping, hiking, skiing, attending basketball games, and traveling. They live in West Colfax, Denver with their two dogs, Chuy and Paco.

Benny Samuels

Benny Samuels

Benny Samuels is a seasoned multicultural, multi-lingual leader in health, human service, and non-profit. In her 30-year career, she has led transformational programs that have increased access, equity, voice, and power (in the form of self-sufficiency) for children, families, and communities, with an intentional emphasis on supporting communities of color and those living in poverty and furthest from opportunity across Colorado and nationally. Her accomplishments include the Statewide Colorado Family Planning Project, which reduced unintended pregnancies in Colorado by 40% in 4 years. Benny also implemented the W.K. Kellogg Foundation multi-million-dollar grant investment and flagship national demonstration project, Community Voices, enrolling thousands of children in the Child Health Plan Plus and uninsured adults into Medicaid and the Colorado Indigent Care Program. Most recently Benny led the operations of a $56M investment for Nurse-Family Partnership to scale the model by making it accessible to thousands of first-time mothers living in poverty.

Cara Sherpa

Cara Sherpa

Cara is a recent graduate of the University of Denver with a degree in International studies with a minor in Economics. She has been working in the youth development space for 2 years as an AmeriCorps Vista. She grew up calling the mountains her home and strives to make the outdoor space welcome to all.

Richard B. Williams

Richard B. Williams

Richard B. Williams is a passionate and committed advocate and fierce champion of Native education in the United States. He has served as president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, a national non-profit scholarship fundraising organization for American Indian students attending tribal colleges and universities. Williams was the first American Indian to graduate from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. At Native American Rights Fund (NARF), Williams worked as a paralegal on landmark cases concerning the civil rights of American Indians in prison. He helped establish the first sweat lodge at a correctional institution. He also developed a plan to build a 50-bed minimum-security prison on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, where he served as the first warden. At CU-Boulder, he directed several initiatives, including the American Indian Upward Bound Program, Director of Minority Affairs and the University Learning Center.

​Past Meetings

September 15, 2022
Board Meeting

September 15, 2022
Process Subcommittee Meeting​​

September 8, 2022
Q&A Sessions for Applicants

​September 2​, 2022
Application and Rubric Subcommittee

​August 30​, 2022
Board Meeting
Meeting AgendaView Recorded Meeting

August 18, 2022
Board Meeting

August 15, 2022
Board Meeting
Meeting ​Agenda​View Recorded Meeting

August 12, 2022
Application and Rubric Subcommittee​
Meeting AgendaView Recorded Meeting​​​

July 28, 2022​
Process Subcommittee
Meeting AgendaView Recorded Meeting

July 28, 2022
Communication and Outreach Subcommittee
Meeting AgendaView Recor​ded Meeting

July 25, 2022
Application and Rubric Subcommittee
Meeting AgendaView Recor​ded Me​eting

July 14, 2022; Meeting Agenda

May 27, 2022; Meeting Agenda

May 19, 2022; Meeting Agenda

May 13, 2022; Meeting AgendaView Recor​ded Meeting

May 6, 2022; ​Meeting AgendaView Recorded Meeting

April 20, 2022; Meeting AgendaView Recorded Meeting

April 7, 2022; Meeting AgendaView Recorded Meeting; ​

March 31, 2022; Meeting AgendaView recorded meeting

March 17, 2022; Meeting AgendaView recorded meeting

March 4, 2022; Meeting Agenda

January 19, 2022; Meeting AgendaView recorded meeting