PHOENIX -- Your child's school or a local park could be among those that benefit from next year's Arizona Game and Fish Department Heritage grants.
Every year, the department makes hundreds of thousands of dollars available to applicants who have projects with a wildlife focus that otherwise might not receive funding. More than $500,000 is available and now is the time of year to apply for the money.
"There are so many deserving projects that promote Arizona wildlife that may not be implemented due to a lack of funding," says Robyn Beck, the department's Heritage grant coordinator.
"We want to help students, researchers, outdoor enthusiasts and ultimately, all Arizonans, enjoy the benefits of this funding."
Started in 1990, the Heritage Fund was established by Arizona voters to further conservation efforts in the state, including protecting endangered species, educating our children about wildlife, helping urban residents to better coexist with wildlife, and creating new opportunities for outdoor recreation. Funding comes from Arizona Lottery sales.
The department holds annual workshops for agencies interested in applying for Heritage grants. This year's workshops will be held at the following times and locations:
- Tuesday, Aug. 5 at the Yuma regional Game and Fish office, 9140 E. 28th St., Yuma. (Choice of two sessions from 1 to 3:30 p.m. or from 5:30 to 8 p.m.)
- Thursday, Aug. 14 at the Flagstaff regional Game and Fish office, 3500 S. Lake Mary Road, Flagstaff. (Choice of two sessions from 1 to 3:30 p.m. or from 5:30 to 8 p.m.)
- Friday, Aug. 15 at the Bureau of Land Management office, 2610 Sweetwater Ave., Lake Havasu City. (Afternoon session only from 1 to 3:30 p.m.)
- Tuesday, Aug. 19 at the Pinetop regional Game and Fish office, 2878 E. White Mountain Blvd., Pinetop. (Choice of two sessions from 1 to 3:30 p.m. or from 5:30 to 8 p.m.)
- Friday, Aug. 22 at the Phoenix Game and Fish office, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix. (Choice of two sessions from 1 to 3:30 p.m. or from 5:30 to 8 p.m.)
- Wednesday, Aug. 27 at the Tucson regional Game and Fish office, 555 N. Greasewood Road, Tucson. (Choice of two sessions from 1 to 3:30 p.m. or from 5:30 to 8 p.m.)
- Thursday, Aug. 28 at the Sierra Vista Suites, 391 E. Fry Blvd., Sierra Vista. (Afternoon session only from 1 to 3:30 p.m.)
Those planning to attend the workshops, and those wanting to learn more about eligibility for the grant money, should R.S.V.P. to Robyn Beck at (623) 236-7530.
Potential grant recipients must have a project that is either located in Arizona or involves research in which the wildlife or its habitat is located in Arizona.
More information on the grants and application forms can be found at the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Web site at www.azgfd.gov/heritage. The deadline for applications is Nov. 28 at 5 p.m. MST.
Over the years, the Arizona Game and Fish Department has awarded a total of more than $12 million in grants to communities across the state.
Arizonans can help raise money for the Heritage Fund every year, simply by buying Arizona Lottery tickets.