More than $670,000 in funding is now available for wildlife conservation education.
Applications are now open for the Wildlife Conservation Education Grants Program. There is more than $678,000 available for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2020.
In the previous fiscal year, AEDC Division of Rural Services awarded more than $500,000 in grants. The department awarded a total of $531,602.2 by the end of 2018 to 253 schools and conservation districts across 71 Arkansas counties.
The Wildlife Conservation Education Grants Program is a partnership between AEDC Division of Rural Services and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Through the partnership, AGFC fines are converted into funding for conversation education programs.
“Strong communities are the foundation for economic development, and education plays an important part in those efforts,” Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said in a statement. “These grants provide needed funds to help us preserve wildlife for future generations as well as support educational opportunities for children. School districts across the state should apply and use the funds to broaden the experiences of our students.”
The range of eligible programs is extensive, from programs that study fish and wildlife conservation issues and Project WILD workshops, to the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program and Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program and more. Grants can also fund school trips to AGFC Nature Centers and Wildlife Management Areas.
“Many schools participating in our shooting sports, archery and conservation education programs are able to keep the programs going thanks to this partnership,” AGFC Chief of Education Tabbi Kinionsaid. “We also hear from many teachers who are able to make conservation-oriented field trips possible thanks to the money we collect from wildlife fines.”
The application period runs through October 3.