PHOENIX — The state’s 2021-22 budget includes $5 million in funding for the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund, a press release from the Heritage Alliance said.

Along with a matching grant process developed by the Arizona State Parks Board with staff from State Parks and Trails and the State Historic Preservation Office, the monies will be spent on:

  • 50% going to local, regional and state parks for outdoor recreation and open space development, restoration or renovation.
  • 30% going to local, regional and state historic preservation projects.
  • 10% for local, regional and state non-motorized trails.
  • 10% going to outdoor and environmental education.

State Sen. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, and Rep. Joanne Osborne, R-Goodyear, introduced the bills that resulted in the $5 million in funding, the press release said.

“After 11 years, our state’s executive and legislative branches finally came together to fund the State Parks Heritage Fund to maintain and upgrade the growing number of parks, trails and historic preservation projects that have languished or are newly proposed in every municipality, county and tribal area in our state,” Shope said in the press release. “I’m excited to see what projects start coming out of the ground to enhance the communities in which they’re located.”

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.