Local Opinion: Legislature Must Fully Fund Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund | Local editorials and opinion

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Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund grants from 1990 through the Great Recession of 2009 provided key funding through a competitive and matching grant process for communities, tribes and agencies to improve and create parks and trails, and to restore, repair and reuse historic sites. Properties.

The Arizona Heritage Alliance, established in 1992 and of which I serve on the board, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501©(3) organization that is funded solely by private donations, grants, and memberships. Its mission is to protect, preserve, and enhance Arizona’s historical, cultural, and natural heritage by protecting the integrity and intent of the constituents of the Arizona Heritage Fund. The alliance’s longstanding commitment to remain at the center of conversations with stakeholders and the legislature to fully fund and implement the restored State Parks Heritage Fund has not changed.

Since the State Parks Heritage Fund was established 32 years ago, more than $89 million in grants has been reinvested into parks, trails, open spaces and cultural sites in Arizona communities. With local matching funds added, $207 million was spent on statewide projects.

In 2010, the state’s legislative majority decided—as part of its plan to address severe budget shortfalls during the Great Recession—to repeal the State Parks Heritage Fund and ordered that any money remaining in the fund be returned. to the general fund.

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