1904 Nogales courthouse symbolic site of entry to Anza Trail

[Source: Manuel C. Coppola, NoglesInternational.com] — Albeit symbolic, the Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail now has an official entry point from Mexico in Nogales at the 1904 Courthouse on Morley Avenue.  To celebrate the designation of the trailhead, a “fiesta” is planned Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11-12, said Lillian Hoff, a founder and president of the Friends of the 1904 Courthouse board of directors.  The event will be highlighted by the first exhibition of 12 commissioned paintings depicting various scenes from the 1775-76 Anza Expedition, said Hoff.  She said that the courthouse will have an Anza Trail room commemorating the expedition and the trailhead into the United States.

Artist David Rickman, who has had an interest in the Spanish Colonial period, was commissioned by Anza Trail staff and has been creating the paintings over the last several years, said Margaret Styles, an interpretive specialist with the National Park Service in San Francisco, Calif.  Styles and Hoff will co-host the exhibition. [Note: to read the full article, click here.]

Trekking to the source of Arizona’s Verde River

[Source: Steve Ayers, CV Bugle] — The Verde River begins its journey in a labyrinth of Proterozoic rock, Cambrian sandstone, Devonian dolomite, and Tertiary gravels interspersed with the surface flows and underground intrusion of volcanic lavas.  Its path to the sun is complex and only know is it beginning to be understood.  Nevertheless, it emerges in a series of springs that feed a forest of willows and cottonwoods and in the process provide the lifeblood for a variety of fish, fowl and wildlife.

In 1996 the Arizona Game & Fish Department, with money from the Heritage Fund, purchased a checkerboard of parcels just down stream from the point where the river emerges.  Then last December, the Nature Conservancy, after 20 years of trying, successfully purchased a 312-acre parcel that included the very springs themselves and also received an additional 160 donated by the former property owners Billy and Betty Wells.  In February of this year, the Nature Conservancy sold off all but 20 acres to Game & Fish, retaining the first few springs.  [Note: to read the full article, click here.]

Arizona Heritage Fund grants possible to revitalize downtown Buckeye

[Source: Cynthia Benin, Arizona Republic] — Business owners in Buckeye can receive up to $25,000 to renovate buildings for commercial use in the downtown area.  The Core Area Revitalization Effort (CARE) presented by the Buckeye Main Street Coalition was approved by the Town Council last week, providing for some major changes to the current revitalization program.  The new guidelines more than double the cap on funding previously set at $10,000, which could provide only for changes to a building’s facade but couldn’t fix more fundamental failings.  “The problem with downtown is that many of the buildings aren’t up to town code,” said Main Street Coalition Interim Director John Bowers.  “That’s why they’re empty.”  He hopes the new program, which will require some legal work before the first grants are awarded, will launch projects to bring many of these buildings up to code and make downtown “a vibrant and viable business community.”

The proposal also narrows the boundaries that determine which buildings are eligible for funding.  Only buildings east of Miller Road, north of Centre Avenue, west of 239th Avenue and south of the railroad tracks can receive financing, though businesses on lots fronting either side of these border streets also qualify.  For grants more than $10,000, business owners are required to match 25 percent of the grant from their own pockets, and all funding recipients are required to occupy the building for at least one year, a stipulation designed to promote commitment to the area.  [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.