PHOENIX -- Whether you won or lost when you bought a lottery ticket last year, some of your money is going to benefit something you would approve of... helping Arizona's schools and universities.
That's because the bulk of this year's grants from the Arizona Game and Fish Department Heritage Fund are going to education and research. Heritage Fund money comes from Arizona Lottery ticket sales. This year, Game and Fish is using Heritage funds to award more than $415,000 to 23 grant projects across Arizona. When combined with matching money from other sources, the projects being funded total nearly $1 million invested in Arizona.
"Simply by buying Arizona Lottery tickets, Arizonans can help schools offer exciting opportunities for their students despite recent budget cuts. We are especially pleased to see a new trend in grant applications focused on school field trips that get children outside to enjoy our state's great outdoors and wildlife recreation," says Robyn Beck, the department's Heritage grant coordinator.
Among the projects that won Heritage grants this year:
Deer Valley Unified School District, for the project "Sonoran Desert Studies Program: Outdoor Wildlife Education." $6,159 grant.
Tempe Union School District, for the project "Environmental Biology Field Course- A Post-Fire Revision via Professional & Curriculum Development." $1,700 grant.
Coconino County Superintendent of Schools, for the project "Five-Points Project: Exemplary Environmental Education in Northern Arizona." $10,000 grant.
Arizona Western College, for the project "Bighorn Sheep Student Conservation Experience." $2,500 grant.
City of Tucson, for the project "Tucson Bird and Wildlife Festival: Birders Mean Business." $17,302 grant.
City of Scottsdale, for the project "McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Baseline Fauna Survey." $24,600 grant.
Town of Sahuarita, for the project "Sahuarita Lake- Public Access for Persons with Disabilities." $9,500 grant.
Town of Clarkdale, for the project "Verde River @ Clarkdale." $40,500 grant.
University of Arizona, for the project "Genetic Assessment of Arizona and Northern Mexico Ocelots." $14,528 grant.
Northern Arizona University, for the project "Northern Mexican Garter Snake Habitat Use and Ecology." $44,811 grant.
Arizona voters created the Heritage Fund back in 1990. The money from lottery ticket sales goes to conservation efforts like protecting endangered species, educating our children about wildlife, helping urban residents to better coexist with wildlife, and creating new opportunities for outdoor recreation. Over the years, Game and Fish has awarded a total of more than $12 million in grants to communities across the state.
The application period for the 2013 grant cycle is now open.
To learn more about Heritage grants and how to apply, attend one of the department's workshops being held at the following times and locations:
1. Monday, July 30 at the Phoenix Game and Fish office, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix. (Choice of two sessions from 1 to 3 p.m. or from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.)
2. Thursday, Aug. 2 at the Yuma regional Game and Fish office, 9140 E. 28th St., Yuma. (Afternoon session only from 1 to 3 p.m.)
3. Monday, Aug. 13 at the Tucson regional Game and Fish office, 555 N. Greasewood Road, Tucson. (Choice of two sessions from 1 to 3 p.m. or from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.)
4. Wednesday, Aug. 15 at the Pinetop regional Game and Fish office, 2878 E. White Mountain Blvd., Pinetop. (Choice of two sessions from 2 to 4 p.m. or from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.)
5. Friday, Aug. 17 at the Flagstaff regional Game and Fish office, 3500 S. Lake Mary Road, Flagstaff. (Choice of two sessions from 1 to 3 p.m. or from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.)
6. Thursday, Aug. 30 at the Kingman regional Game and Fish office, 5325 N. Stockton Hill Road, Kingman. (Choice of two sessions from 2 to 4 p.m. or from 5:30 to 7:30 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. A minimum of three people must sign up for each workshop or the session will be cancelled 48 hours prior to the date. The application deadline is Oct. 1, 2012 at 5 p.m. MST.
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 department's website at www.azgfd.gov/heritage
Note to media: A full list of this year's Heritage grant winners and lists of your county's previous grant winners are available by calling Public Information Officer Lynda Lambert at (623) 236-7203.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AGFD's programs or activities, including employment practices, they may file a complaint with the Deputy Director, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000, (602) 942-3000, or with the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Deputy Director as listed above.