Support the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund


Dear Friends of the Heritage Fund

On behalf of the Arizona Heritage Alliance Board of Directors, I am pleased to let you know that SCR1038 (SCR1038 state parks heritage fund) which seeks to refer to the ballot a measure for Arizona voters to fund the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund through the Arizona Lottery in the amount of $10 million each year has been assigned to the SENATE Natural Resources, Energy, and Water Committee and is on the agenda to be heard this Thursday, February 15, 2024 at 9:00 AM in Room SHR 2. Members of the public may access a livestream of the meeting by clicking here.

Please communicated your position for SCR1038 through the Legislature’s Request to Speak (RTS) system. If you don’t have an account for the Legislature’s Request To Speak System, please link here for detailed instructions.

You can also call or email the 2024 Senate Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee members directly and let them know you want them to SCR 1038 to restore the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund.

State Senator Phone Email
David Gowan 602-926-5154 dgowan@azleg.gov
Frank Carroll 602-926-3249 fcarroll@azleg.gov
Sine Kerr, Chair 602-926-5955 skerr@azleg.gov
Juan Mendez 602-926-4124 jmendez@azleg.gov
Brian Fernandez 602-926-3098 bfernandez@azleg.gov
Priya Sundareshan 602-926-3437 psundareshan@azleg.gov
T.J. Shope – Vice Chair 602-926-3012 tshope@azleg.gov

The Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund has been an invaluable asset in safeguarding our state’s natural and cultural heritage for decades. However, the fund faced significant setbacks in 2010 when legislative actions resulted in its depletion and removal from statute, leaving our parks, historic sites,non-motorized  trails, and environmental education initiatives without adequate financial support for essential maintenance and conservation efforts.

While there was a commendable effort to reinstate the State Parks Heritage Fund in 2019 with funding secured for three fiscal years, the current budget constraints have once again left the fund without financial backing. This situation is deeply concerning, particularly considering the vital role our parks and natural areas play in providing recreational opportunities and solace to our communities, especially during the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

SCR1038 presents a crucial opportunity to address this funding gap and ensure the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund receives the resources necessary to fulfill its mission effectively. By reinstating the original $10 million annual allocation from the Arizona Lottery, we can establish a stable and sustainable revenue stream for the preservation of our natural, cultural, and historic resources, aligning with the vision outlined in Arizona Proposition 200.

The benefits of the Fund are evident, with over $89 million in grants reinvested in parks, trails, and cultural sites across Arizona since its inception. These investments, combined with local matching funds, have amounted to $207 million spent on projects statewide, benefiting communities both large and small. The economic impact cannot be overstated, with job creation, environmental conservation, and heritage preservation being tangible outcomes of the Fund’s initiatives.

In light of the economic challenges faced by our local communities, particularly those reliant on tourism, the restoration of the State Parks Heritage Fund is more pertinent than ever. By revitalizing our parks, trails, and historic sites, we can stimulate economic activity, support local businesses, and create sustainable employment opportunities, particularly in rural areas that have been disproportionately affected.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we sincerely appreciate your continued advocacy for the Arizona Heritage Fund.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at mail@azheritage.org or call 602-528-7500.

Sincerely yours,

Jim McPherson
President, Board of Directors
Arizona Heritage Alliance

Board Member Janice Miano Honored by Arizona State Parks & Trails

At the request of Arizona Heritage Alliance board member, Sam Campana, we are extremely pleased and excited to share the news of the creation of the Miano Trailhead at the new Arizona State Parks & Trails “Rockin’ River State Park!” The Miano Trailhead was officially celebrated at the grand opening of Arizona’s newest state park held on Thursday, February 8, 2024. Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, State Parks Board Chair Dale Larsen, and State Parks Board Vice Chair John Sefton congratulate Janice on her long-time service and well-deserved recognition. Janice Miano, our fellow board member, past board president, and past executive director has been a shining star for so many years advocating wholeheartedly and tirelessly for the Arizona Heritage Fund specifically and our great state’s natural, cultural, and historic resources overall. #azoutdoors #arizonastateparks #HeritageFund #azstateparks #aztrails #arizonastateparksandtrails #milanotrailhead

Arizona State Parks and Trails Opens New State Park

February 5, 2024 – Arizona State Parks & Trails Press Release
For the first time since 2016, Arizona will have a new state park. Rockin’ River Ranch, located in Camp Verde, will be opening on February 9, 2024 with outdoor recreation options like picnicking, hiking, and wildlife watching. The park will operate Fridays-Sundays.

Governor Katie Hobbs spoke at the grand opening ceremony on Thursday, February 8 at 1 p.m. Area

@governerhobbs/X

legislators, Camp Verde and Yavapai County officials, and other stakeholders will be invited to attend. This will be a fee-free day for the public to explore the park before the official opening on Friday.

“Thank you to all our amazing community partners and stakeholders who helped us reach this milestone,” said Arizona State Parks and Trails Executive Director Bob Broscheid. “Being able to share this beautiful space is something that our agency has been working toward for more than a decade, and we are excited to open the park and welcome visitors.”

Rockin’ River Ranch State Park will be open for day use Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with last entry at 4 p.m., and will cost $7 per vehicle for entry. The 209-acre park was acquired in 2008 and is comprised of riparian and high desert land with stunning views of the Camp Verde area. Facilities will include restrooms, picnic areas, parking, and a visitor center/gift shop. Six hiking trails are available for mountain biking, equestrian riding, hiking, wildlife watching, birding, and fishing access along the Verde River.

The park was acquired in 2008 and sits at the confluence of West Clear Creek and the Verde River. Previously operated as a guest ranch with horse riding and boarding facilities, the park will now offer nearly four miles of multi-use trails, allowing exploration of the pastures, a mesquite bosque and the riparian zone along the Verde River. Resident and migratory birds and native wildlife are found in the park, and protected and native fish swim in the river.

More information about Rockin’ River Ranch State Park can be found online at AZStateParks.com/Rockin-River. This will be the second park in Camp Verde, the first being Fort Verde State Historic Park, which was opened and dedicated in 1970.

Managing and conserving Arizona’s natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our parks and through our partners.

For information about the more than 30 Arizona State Parks and Natural Areas, trails, Off-Highway Vehicle Program, and State Historic Preservation Office, call 1-877-MY-PARKS or visit AZStateParks.com.

PRESS CONTACT: Michelle Thompson at (480) 589-8877 – Email: pio@azstateparks.gov

Information for 2023 Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund

$6M Appropriated in FY24 for Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund – On Friday, May 12, 2023, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announced that she signed an $17.8 billion budget for the 2024 fiscal year that features heavy investments in education, transportation, and tax rebates. The budget also includes $6 million for the State Parks Heritage Fund and $500,000 for the Arizona Trail. The Arizona Heritage Alliance and Arizona Preservation Foundation provided strong support, with the help of hundreds of individual and organizational stakeholders across the state, in advocating for these programs benefitting Arizona’s cultural, historic, and natural resources. Thank you to all our members, partners and friends you have continued to support restoring the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund.

List of 2023/2024 Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund Grant Awardees (as of 12/21/2023)

Map of Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund Grand Awardees – Fiscal Year 21 and 22.

A recent poll commissioned by the State Innovation Exchange showed Arizonans continue to support progressive policy solutions to the problems facing Arizona including question #28 about supporting the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund.

Estimate of AZ State Parks Heritage Fund awards 2022/2023 

Colorado College’s 13th annual State of the Rockies Project “Conservation in the West Poll” summary

Arizona’s individual state “Conservation in the West Poll” infographic

Overview of AZ Heritage Fund, ARPA and HCVA grants awarded and talking points

Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund Grant Awardees – Fiscal Year 22/23

Current list of 2022/2023 Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund Grant Awardees

List of 2021/2022 Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund Grant Awardees

2023 Heritage Fund Fact Sheet

2023 “What We Should Support Restoring the ASP Heritage Fund”

Arizona Heritage Alliance Powerpoint Presentation (updated 8.16.2023)