Evergreen Lake Loop Trail Project

Lake Park Trail

Great Outdoors Colorado Grant

Evergreen Park & Recreation District Receives $250,000 Grant from Great Outdoors Colorado - Grant Will Improve Evergreen Lake Loop Trail & Improve Access Downtown

Evergreen Park & Recreation District (EPRD) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded $250,000 from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to create safe trail connections and improve the Lake Loop Trail at Evergreen Lake, the crown jewel of this scenic mountain community 25 miles west of Denver.

The Evergreen Lake Trail improvements will include boardwalk repairs and trail surface restoration to provide safer access to environmental, educational and historical sites around the lake. In addition, the grant will fund the installation of a new accessible concrete trail on the north side of Evergreen Lake Dam which will provide access for all trail users between downtown Evergreen and Evergreen Lake Park and provide an alternative to an existing steep steel staircase which limits use by many trail users.

The grant award of $249,938 was approved by the Great Outdoors Colorado Board on June 19, 2012. The field of applications for GOCO's spring 2012 local parks and outdoor recreation grant cycle was extremely competitive - GOCO received 47 applications requesting approximately $9.7 million in funding. Of those, ten projects were selected, totaling about $2.0 million in grant awards. The Evergreen Lake Loop Trail improvement project is one of just three projects selected in metro Denver, and the only project selected in Jefferson County.

The 55-acre Evergreen Lake and park includes a 40-acre lake, 1.3-mile loop trail, 1-acre picnic park, nature boardwalk, the Evergreen Lake House and the Evergreen Nature Center. Since 1927, Evergreen Lake Park has been a favorite destination for residents/visitors for hiking, boating, fishing, and ice-skating, with an estimated 300,000 annual park visits.

Boardwalk repair and trail restoration will begin this summer, and new trail construction is scheduled for fall 2012 (weather permitting) or spring 2013. The design team includes staff from EVStudios of Evergreen and Big R Bridge of Greeley, Colorado.

The project is unique in that it is a community-driven, well-supported solution to the longstanding problem of closing the gap in the Evergreen Lake Loop Trail. Rocky Graziano and Peter Link, both of Evergreen, conceptualized the trail connection approximately five years ago in response to the removal of the steel girder bridge across the gap in the loop trail north of the Evergreen Dam. A town meeting in August 2011 confirmed enthusiastic public support for the proposed solution. Based on that public input, Mr. Graziano and Dean Dalvitt of the Downtown Evergreen Economic District developed a preliminary design for the trail and submitted the design to the Evergreen Park & Recreation District for approval in fall 2011.

Local entities supporting the project include the Downtown Evergreen Economic District, the Evergreen Downtown Business Association, the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce, Team Evergreen, the Evergreen Recreation & Park Foundation, the Jefferson County Historical Society, and Evergreen Audubon. Supporting state and regional governmental entities include the Colorado Department of Transportation, Jefferson County Open Space, Denver Mountain Parks and the Bear Creek Watershed.

Since 2011, Evergreen Park & Recreation District (EPRD) has stepped up its efforts to obtain funding from outside grant sources to improve Evergreen's parks and facilities. In the last twelve months, EPRD has received or partnered with local organizations to obtain $675,000 in grant funding for outdoor recreation projects in Evergreen, including enhancements to Wulf Park, improvements to Evergreen Lake Park, and completion of the North Evergreen Activity Trail.

This is the fourth Great Outdoors Colorado grant EPRD has received in the last six years. EPRD received GOCO grants for Buchanan Park planning in 2006, for installing the grass field at Bergen Meadow Elementary in 2007, and for Youth Corps crews to restore trails at Evergreen Lake Park in 2011.

Great Outdoors Colorado (goco.org) was created as the result of an initiative passed by voters in 1992. As the recipient of approximately half of Colorado Lottery proceeds -- $56 million in Fiscal Year 2011 -- GOCO awards grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. Since 1994, nearly 3,500 projects in all 64 counties of Colorado have received GOCO funding.