Thornton wins lottery award for Big Dry Creek work

Staff Report
Posted 4/26/21

Thornton’s work restoring 25 acres of the Big Dry Creek Open Space has been recognized by the Colorado Lottery. The Colorado Lottery announced on April 21 that it had awarded the city a Starburst …

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Thornton wins lottery award for Big Dry Creek work

Posted

Thornton’s work restoring 25 acres of the Big Dry Creek Open Space has been recognized by the Colorado Lottery.

The Colorado Lottery announced on April 21 that it had awarded the city a Starburst Award for the project, which used lottery proceeds to help pay for the work.

“Conservation is a key pillar for the Lottery. It includes not only conserving open space, but also upgrading recreational spaces, creating new places for Coloradans to play, and supporting ecosystems and wildlife,” said Tom Seaver, director of the Colorado Lottery. “This year’s Starburst Award winners aptly reflect the wide-ranging projects that our proceeds support. With now $3.6 billion going to our proceeds beneficiaries, we continue to look for new ways to grow revenue responsibly to protect more of Colorado’s great outdoors.”

The $1,745,000 project used a $75,000 planning grant and $100,000 Great Outdoors Colorado Habitat Restoration grant to the City of Thornton, both Colorado Lottery proceeds, to help pay for the work.

The city restored approximately 25 acres of Big Dry Creek Open Space, an important natural resource and ecosystem for east-west wildlife migration, as part of the project. Due to erosion and noxious weeds, Big Dry Creek’s floodplain had been severely compromised. GOCO funding was used to improve conditions along the creek and create overflow wetlands that will reduce flood hazards and protect water quality. These restoration efforts have also helped improve critical habitat for bald eagles, blacktailed prairie dogs, peregrine falcons, red foxes, and great blue herons, among other species.

The Big Dry Creek project was the last remaining open space ‘pearl’ needed to create a complete system of open space corridors in Thornton. Big Dry Creek provides outstanding opportunities for passive recreation and wildlife habitat and encompasses almost 300 acres of open space areas that have been preserved through acquisition by Thornton and Adams County.

More than $10.5 million in Lottery funds are represented in 11 winning projects distributed statewide through grants.

Submissions include programs and projects such as parks, playgrounds, outdoor recreation facilities, land conservation, trail enhancement, open space acquisition, wildlife natural resource preservation, and public school improvements.

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