Arizonans still play lottery despite tough economy

[Source: Megan Thomas, Cronkite News Service] – – “It’s just a buck,” Todd Babel said as he left a convenience store holding a Powerball ticket giving him a chance, however small, at $20 million. “I do it just for fun,” Babel said. “I don’t buy 10 at a time or anything like that.” The tough economy hasn’t kept many other Arizonans from playing either.

As Arizona’s economy has slid over the past year, lottery revenues have remained relatively steady, the figures show. The Arizona Lottery took in a record $473 million during the fiscal year that ended in June. Assuming a steady rate of population growth, per-capita sales were roughly equal to the year before. [Note: to read the full article click here.]

Arizona Game & Fish accepting grant applications

[Source: Jim Edwards, Fox 11 News] — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is accepting applications for more than half-a-million dollars in Heritage grants for projects with a wildlife focus.  “There are so many deserving projects that promote Arizona wildlife that may not be implemented due to a lack of funding,” says Heritage grant coordinator Robyn Beck.  “We want to help students, researchers, outdoor enthusiasts, and ultimately all Arizonans enjoy the benefits of this funding”

The Heritage Fund was established in 1990 to further conservation efforts, protect endangered species, educate children, help urban residents coexist with wildlife, and create new opportunities for outdoor recreation.  The funding comes from Arizona Lottery sales.  The deadline for applications is November 28.   The Department also holds annual workshops for agencies interested in applying for the grants.  Three of the workshops will be held in southern Arizona: Wednesday, August 27, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. or from 5:30 to 8 p.m., at the Tucson Regional Game and Fish Office at 555 North Greasewood Road; and Thursday, August 28, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Sierra Vista Suites at 391 East Fry Boulevard.

More information on the grants and the workshops is available by clicking here.

Committee meets to save Mesa’s park train

[Source: Jim Ruiz, Mesa Republic] — The Save Our Train committee will meet Tuesday, July  at 6 p.m. in a continuing effort to raise funds to salvage a rusting, historic train at Pioneer Park.  The 1912 locomotive has been in the park since 1958, and played a big role in the childhood of thousands of Mesa’s residents.  But as it deteriorated over the years, it was fenced off for safety reasons.  The committee hopes to raise money to move the train to a different part of the park to give it more visibility, and to begin restoration work. The committee meets at the City’s Purchasing Department conference room, 20 E. Main Street.  The committee has applied for a $2,500 [Heritage Fund] grant from the Arizona Lottery and $50,000 from the Union Pacific Railroad Heritage Fund.

Take the Arizona Trail User Survey!

Click here to take the Arizona Trail User Survey.  This study is part of an effort to develop plans for the State Trails Program and the Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Program.  The survey is being conducted by the Arizona State Parks Board and Arizona State University to ask for input into the trail planning process. 

Your participation in this survey is very important.  Your answers will help set priorities for trail management in Arizona, and help determine how a portion of the Heritage Fund and the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Fund should be spent.  The Heritage Fund comes from Lottery revenues and the OHV Fund comes from gasoline tax dollars.  Some of these funds go directly to provide recreational trail opportunities and facilities for all Arizona residents and visitors.

The survey will take approximately 15 – 20 minutes to complete.  Your answers to this survey are completely confidential. Your name will not be connected to your answers in any way.  Your participation in this survey is voluntary; however, you can help us very much by taking a few minutes to share your opinions.  Please forward this e-mail to other Arizonans interested in trails.  If you have questions about the survey, send an e-mail to Arizona State Parks.