Sonoran Trails Middle School students win 2019 Heritage Grant Award

Desert Ironwood tree was among plants for the habitat. Submitted photos

Sonoran Trails Middle School announces that eighth graders from the 2018-19 school year won a grant from the Arizona Game & Fish Department.

The Environmental Education grant for “Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat” received $9,844 toward the project. The grant was received just before the 2018-19 school year ended, according to a press release, noting that Sonoran Trails Middle School PTO supplemented the grant with an additional $3,000 towards the school beautification project adding ocotillos to the space.

Purple Sage

This class, now freshman at Cactus Shadows High School, included the following plants for the habitat: Desert ironwood; Mesquite; Blue Palo Verde; Desert Willow Trees (about five of each); Baja fairy duster, Ocotillo; San Marcos Hibiscus; and Purple Sage Shrubs (about five of each).

The Heritage Fund money, established by voter initiative in 1990, comes from Arizona Lottery ticket sales and goes toward conservation efforts such as protecting endangered species, educating students and the public about wildlife and the outdoors, and creating new opportunities for outdoor recreation, according to the release.

Baja Fairy Duster

The Heritage Fund Grant Program was established by the Arizona Game and Fish Department in 1992 as part of the overall Heritage Fund program.

“It is amazing when you give control over to students and ask them to solve an authentic problem, the wonderful solutions they can produce. We look forward to working with Arizona Game and Fish to complete their grant.” Sonoran Trails Middle School Principal Bill Dolezal said in a prepared statement.

“Our students are amazing problem-solvers as evidenced by this thoughtful school beautification project. Now we can all enjoy their efforts on the STMS campus.”

Teacher Katie Petrine, whose students presented plans for creating a habitat that would enhance the campus and attract wildlife, submitted the application to AZ Game and Fish. Students voted for the best presentation of their class, choosing the five projects that stood out among all of Mrs. Petrine’s classes. The ideas from the winning presentation were incorporated in the grant submitted.


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