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Mesa County Health
Department (MCHD), Colorado Mesa University (CMU) and Great Outdoors Colorado
(GOCO) have released the Pathways to Nature report.
The project, funded
by GOCO, uses data from surveys, focus groups and community meetings to
determine ways to improve outdoor access for children and youth in our
community.
Report findings show
the following factors keep residents from getting outdoors with their children: 
  • Time – both
    low-income and high-income residents, as well as single parents struggle to
    find the time to get their kids outdoors, in nature.
  • Cost – purchasing
    equipment, paying for transportation and park fees puts a strain on low-income
    residents.
  • Transportation – some
    residents rely on public transportation, so getting to some outdoor recreation
    areas is difficult.
  • Safety – some
    residents are concerned with the safety of local parks, school yards and
    playgrounds.
  • Facilities –
    residents with small children said places without bathrooms or sinks keep them from
    visiting some recreation areas in Mesa County.

The detailed Pathways
to Nature report includes demographic breakdowns, gaps and barriers in the
community and recommendations, which could be used to inform future projects.
Visit
health.mesacounty.us to view the full report.

Great
Outdoors Colorado (GOCO)
invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help
preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open
spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments
and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Created by voters in 1992, GOCO has funded more than 3,500 projects in all 64
counties without any tax dollar support. The grants are funded by GOCO’s share
of Colorado Lottery revenues, which are divided between GOCO, CPW, the
Conservation Trust Fund and school construction. For more information, visit
goco.org.