[Source: Bonnie Bariola, TriValleyCentral.com] – More that 100 entries were received in this year’s competition, demonstrating the priority of sustainable design and development in Arizona. Categories for submissions were: Buildings and structures, livable communities, site development and landscape, art in public places, environmental technologies, environmental education/communication, and environmental stewardship.
Arizona Forward initiated the Environmental Excellence Awards in 1980 to recognize outstanding contributions to the physical environment of our local communities. The program has grown significantly and now serves as a benchmark for promoting livability, conserving natural resources and sustaining our unique desert environment for future generations.
Janice Miano, executive director of the Heritage Alliance, was the recipient of Arizona Forward’s Award of Merit for Environmental Stewardship (SRP Award). The Arizona Heritage Alliance continues its efforts to get the Arizona State Parks portion of the Heritage Fund restored.
The Arizona Heritage Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created in 1992 to protect Arizona’s Heritage Fund and its objectives. It is guided by a board of directors drawn from a broad base of outdoor sports, environmental conservation, and historic preservation organizations that helped pass the 1990 statewide voter initiative creating the Heritage Fund. After numerous state legislative attempts, unfortunately during extreme difficult economic times, in 2009 the Legislature was successful in eliminating one-half of the Heritage Fund.
Since that time, Janice has lead the Heritage Alliance Board of Directors and others, both organizations and individuals, working to persuade the Legislature to restore the funds and the statutory language which also had been removed. She has worked with a growing coalition of groups like Arizona Forward, the Sierra Club, Arizona Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, the State Parks Foundation, the Historic Preservation Foundation and many others as well as with many concerned individuals to come up with other ways of fulfilling the promise of the Heritage Fund and Arizona State Parks.
Janice has left no stone unturned in the search for a way to recover the lost ability of citizens to enhance and protect the historic, natural, and recreational values lost during that dark, closed-door budget-balancing session in 2009.
Editor’s Note: Bonnie Bariola represents the Florence Preservation Foundation on the Heritage Alliance Board of Directors and holds the office of treasurer for the organization.