Arizona State Parks grants lost due to state budget cuts

[Source: Sedona.biz] — The Arizona State Parks department received 12 grant applications this spring requesting approximately $6.5 million from the State Lake Improvement Fund (SLIF).  Unfortunately, because of legislative budget sweeps, those monies must be released to the legislature by August 15, 2008, so the Arizona State Parks Board reluctantly had to release those monies back to the General Fund.

According to Bill Scalzo, Chair of the Arizona State Parks Board, “The State Lake Improvement Fund bill was passed so that tax monies from boat fuel could be used for safety improvements on the lakes, for better law enforcement and boating access.  These safety improvements now cannot be made and we are forced to move the money to the General Fund for other uses.”  “We had no choice but to cancel these grants as the funds were swept from the accounts by the legislature,” he said.

“The State Parks department has struggled since the last round of sweeps in 2002.  At that time the agency was forced to use its capital improvement funds from SLIF ($2.3 million) to operate the parks.  Now the parks are facing many crises as the historic structures and the infrastructures at the parks are deteriorating and we can’t make any improvements.”  [Note: To read the full article click here.]

Arizona’s Patagonia Lake State Park a perfect backdrop for recreation

[Source: Phoenix Arizona Relocation Guide By West USA Realty and Carl Chapman] — Patagonia Lake State Park encompasses a 275-acre reservoir that is the perfect backdrop for hiking, fishing, water skiing, camping, and picnicking.  The lake was created by damming up Sonoita Creek and is 2.5 miles long.  It is tucked into the rolling grasslands of Sonoita Valley.  The Arizona State Parks Department manages the State Park.  The park is at an elevation of 4,000 feet, making the climate ideal all year round.  Although, the best times to make your visit is in the spring or fall.  Fishermen will enjoy dropping their line in search of largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie or bluegill.

You will find rainbow trout in the winter, when they are released into the lake.  There is a no wake area designated on the lake for fishing.  A marina is available, along with a level fishing pad for wheelchairs.  Hiking trails circle the lake.  You should find a ranger, who can point out where you can see the petroglyphs on the far side of the lake.  You can get to the petroglyphs by hiking or by boat.  Campers will enjoy the lake too.  [Note: to read the full article, click 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.