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News Release

Plug in to Nature Project Wins Colorado Lottery Starburst Award

Department: Natural Resources
Release Date: Oct 30, 2012

Contact Information:

Rob Novak, Community Relations Specialist, (970) 679-4561,

 Larimer County’s Department of Natural Resources was joined today by representatives from the Colorado Lottery and Great Outdoors Colorado to present the Lottery’s Starburst Award to the Board of County Commissioners. 

The County and partners have received the Starburst Award for Excellence in the use of Lottery Funds in their analysis of the connections families have for the outdoors in Larimer County, entitled Plug in to NaturePlug in to Nature is a groundbreaking project aimed at identifying the ways families connect to the outdoors in the county, and revealing the barriers and gaps that prevent parents and local educators from getting out in to nature more often. Funded by Great Outdoors Colorado, the project determined that the majority of county residents feel a strong connection to nature and that parents want to spend even more time outside with their children. Created by Colorado voters in 1992, GOCO receives up to 50 percent of Lottery proceeds annually, which it reinvests back into projects throughout the state by helping to preserve, protect, enhance and manage Colorado’s wildlife, park, river, trail and open space heritage.
Barriers identified in Plug in to Nature included families not having enough time to go to nearby parks, open spaces and natural areas and a lack of awareness towards programming opportunities. Local nature program providers are currently working on implementing many of the recommendations for improving families’ access to and interest in the natural world through filling gaps programming, building awareness, and identifying new partnerships to provide more programs for the entire family. Work with local schools on the issues teachers identified in the study will begin in earnest following the release of a pending Statewide Environmental Literacy Plan. 
For more information about Plug in to Nature and its implementation, please visit, or contact Rob Novak, Community Relations Specialist, Larimer County Department of Natural Resources, at (970) 679-4561 or
To learn more about Larimer County’s parks and open spaces,
visit our website at
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