LYONS, Colo. (CBS4)– Parks and trails devastated by last fall’s record flooding are getting a second chance thanks to a $13 million grant. More than a dozen projects are benefiting from the funding.
That money was announced by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday that is specifically designated for those recreational areas destroyed by rising water in September 2013. Many trails destroyed last fall remain closed.
Hickenlooper said the economies in towns like Lyons and Longmont depend on attracting visitors to those parks and trails.
“A lot of the tourists use the trails,” said Hickenlooper.
One such site is Meadows Park. Town leaders in Lyons hope to expand the camp site and make the entire park bigger and better than it was before last fall’s destructive flooding.
Hickenlooper said communities like Lyons will finally get the money they need to repair damaged parks and trails.
The group Great Outdoors Colorado plans to channel $13 million in state lottery collections toward fixing ruined open space in Larimer, Boulder, Jefferson, Morgan, Weld and El Paso Counties.
“We won’t have done enough until we get everybody into stable housing, until we have every business back open,” said Hickenlooper.
Homes still need to be rebuilt and property restored but Hickenlooper also said people need parks to reopen. He said it’s the outdoors that draws people to live and make a home in Colorado.
“This is money, Great Outdoors Colorado can only be used for parks and nothing else. Bottom line is we’ve got to do everything at once, this community needs to get this park fixed so they can get campers and cars here so their business can survive,” said Hickenlooper.
Lyons town leaders set a goal to reopen Meadows Park by the beginning of June.
In Longmont the money is going to help repair and reopen 3.5 miles of trails along the river.