The Great Outdoors Fund is pleased to announce that Phase I of the San Juan River Public Access Enhancement Project will begin and be completed this fall thanks to a successful, collective fundraising effort that began, in earnest, in September 2020.

Last fall, The Great Outdoors Fund teamed with members of the Upper San Juan Watershed Enhancement Partnership (WEP) to begin raising money to fund a well-planned project that would enhance access and infrastructure at a highly-visited area along a popular run of the river near Pagosa Springs, CO.  Since then, collectively, more than $90,000 in public and private monies have been raised which will fully fund Phase I of this meritorious project.

The funding raised to date will be used to construct a new boat ramp which includes an eddy feature to make it safer for boaters to take their boats out of the river.  The project will also expand the parking area, making the overall experience better and safer for everyone.  Plus, a new information kiosk will be constructed on-site to provide visitors with information about the area as well as tips on how to recreate responsibly and be a good steward of our natural resources.

The overall project goals are to preserve and enhance recreation opportunities, reduce conflicts between recreational users, improve the recreation experience for all users, and eliminate trespass issues on private and Tribal lands.

“The Great Outdoors Fund selected the San Juan project to pilot a crowdfunding campaign around and drive donations through TheGreatOutdoorsFund.org where 100% of all donations go directly to a project as designated by the giver,” said Lori McCullough, Founder of The Great Outdoors Fund. “Nearly $5,000 was donated by dozens of individuals through our website which created a waterfall effect for other funding being raised until we reached our fundraising goal for Phase I turning this project into a success story in the making.”

Partners from the public and private sectors that have invested in this project include the Pagosa Area Tourism Board, Town of Pagosa Springs, Archuleta County, Friends of the Upper San Juan River, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Southwest River Engineering, The Great Outdoors Fund, Mountain Land Associates, Colorado Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, and Trout Unlimited’s Five Rivers Chapter.

Up next, The Great Outdoors Fund and USDA Forest Service, along with the Friends of the Bridger Teton will collaborate to fundraise for the Green River Lake Recreation Site Enhancement project, which is already halfway funded with money awarded through the Great American Outdoors Act.   Click here to donate directly to the Green River Lake project.

For more information, please visit thegreatoutdoorsfund.org or visit us on Instagram at @thegreatoutdoorsfund.