DENVER, Oct. 1, 2012- The Colorado Lottery has awarded a 2012 Starburst Community Award to the town on Olathe for using Lottery dollars to make improvements to Olathe Community Park including the addition of a fishing pond and handicapped accessible fishing pier. The town funded the project using a $36,720 Lottery-funded Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant.
The Olathe Community Park Enhancement grant included four basic components- a fence along the eastern perimeter of the Community Park that not only provides safety from a section of State Highway 50, but also is an aesthetic delineator between the road and the facility, three handicap accessible drinking fountains, a new fishing pond with a depth of 20 feet and a handicap accessible fishing pier that brings people of all ages closer to fishable water.
The initial plan for the park included providing the local elderly population who live at the nearby skilled care facility, Colorow, the opportunity to enjoy an outdoor experience. Residents of Colorow now travel by van to the park at least monthly to walk or use their wheelchairs to get to the fishing pier.
The Colorado Lottery Starburst Community Awards recognize excellence in the use of Lottery proceeds in community projects implemented to enhance a community’s environment. In Fiscal Year 2012 alone, the Lottery distributed $123.2 million in the proceeds. The Lottery returned more than $2.4 billion to the state since its creation approximately 29 years ago.
Lottery proceeds are distributed to three primary beneficiaries: GOCO, Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado Park and Wildlife. These organizations then provide grants and direct funding for parks, recreation, open space acquisition, trails, and wildlife and conservation education.