Heritage Grant Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Willow Bend Moran Henn,

(928) 779-1745, moran@willowbendcenter.org


Re: Heritage Grant Awarded to Collaborative Willow Bend/Sawmill Park Project

Flagstaff, AZ-May 7th —Willow Bend Environmental Education Center and partners are pleased to announce that we are being offered a grant award of $38,337 for our successful Heritage Grant application titled “Habitat Restoration and Watchable Wildlife Enhancement at Sawmill/Willow Bend AWWE (Arizona Watchable Wildlife Experience) Site”.

Funds from the grant will be used to support school and community wildlife programs, interpretive signage, interactive habitat displays, garden restoration, and a new ADA accessible wildlife-watching platform at the Willow Bend AWWE site. This project is part of a formal partnership between Willow Bend, Coconino County, the AWWE group, and the City of Flagstaff Storm Water Management for on-going restoration and environmental education efforts at Willow Bend/Sawmill Park. The project is also supported by matching funds from the Coconino County Board of Supervisors and Coconino County Parks and Recreation.

“We were so excited to receive funding for this impactful project” said Moran Henn, Willow Bend’s Executive Director. Cassandra Roberts, Willow Bend’s Program Director added that “the goal of the project is to promote an understanding of and an appreciation for our local wildlife and habitat”. Cynthia Nemeth, Coconino County Parks and Recreation Director added that “This grant is extremely welcomed as it will go a long way towards engaging the public, especially children, in the outdoors.  The ADA accessible watchable wildlife platform is a very important feature made possible through this grant.  Coconino County Parks and Recreation is proud to be a partner in a project with so many positive outcomes”.

“This grant will build upon the work performed last year by the City, Natural Channel Designs, and many volunteers to improve native habitat and reduce invasive weeds on City property near Willow Bend,” said Amanda Richardson, Stormwater Project Manager with the City of Flagstaff Water Services. “We look forward to growing our partnerships to preserve the community’s natural resources, which is a goal of this City Council and an element of the 2030 Flagstaff Regional Plan.”

“Programming will begin soon and over the next two years you can expect to see a lot of restoration work, installation of new interpretive signage and interactive displays, construction of the wildlife watching platform and of course many students watching birds, learning about wildlife and taking pictures” concluded Henn.

The Heritage grants are supported by revenue from Arizona Lottery sales and are available to projects that focus on wildlife and habitats across the entire state. For more information about Heritage funds visit www.azgfd.gov, for information about AWWE sites and events visit www.www.azwatchwildlife.com, and to learn more about Willow Bend visit:  www.willowbendcenter.org.