GOCO gives $85,000 to fund youth jobs

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Great Outdoors Colorado will spend $85,411 to help young people ages 18 to 24 get jobs next spring and summer.

About $24,954 will be used to improve several outdoor areas in El Paso County, Colorado Springs will use $44,464 and Manitou Springs will receive $15,993.

The governments will hire Mile High Youth Corps-Colorado Springs workers in 2013 to complete trail development at Bear Creek Nature Center, restore areas of Blodgett Peak’s open space damaged in the Waldo Canyon fire, and on a fire mitigation project on Iron Mountain.

“We are thrilled that he review committee has recognized the need for these projects in the Pikes Peak region,” said Nancy Wilson, regional director for Mile High Youth Corps. “The Waldo Canyon fire has left us with not only a huge amount of restoration work, but the potential for even more ecological destruction and damage to our watersheds and personal property due to erosion and flooding.”

The projects are among 45 statewide projects worth $6.2 million, awarded by the GOCO board. In addition to the money for the youth corps, projects paid for by GOCO will help purchase land in low-income Denver to be used for environmental education, project 6,720 acres of open space in perpetuity, renovate existing parks and allow planning for future projects.