By The Arkansas Economic Development Commission
LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s (AEDC) Division of Rural Services today announced that it will award $808,146.04 to Arkansas schools and educators to support conservation education programs in the 2022-23 school year. Funds for these grants come from wildlife fines collected by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC).
AEDC awards conservation education grants to schools in the same counties where the fines are collected. Any school or conservation district in Arkansas may apply through Oct. 27, 2022.
There is $41,391 available to schools in Clark County. There are two counties in Arkansas with more funds available than Clark County.
“Each year, we look forward to partnering with AGFC and together supporting the students of our state by enhancing access to conservation education,” Secretary Mike Preston said. “Our communities, our students and our economy benefit when children have abundant opportunity to experience just how much Natural State has to offer.”
AGFC Chief of Education Tabbi Kinion says the grants can significantly enhance learning opportunities for youth, especially in rural areas of Arkansas.
“Many programs the AGFC promotes, such as Archery in the Schools, Project WILD, and Fishing in the Natural State, can be funded through these grants,” Kinion said. “But they can also be used to purchase equipment unique to conservation education and even help offset the costs of field trips to AGFC nature centers, hatcheries and other outdoors learning opportunities.”
Kinion says all AGFC nature centers are free to the public, and through these education grants, educators can even use funds to help offset some travel expenses to get the kids to their learning destination.
More information on the program, a link to the application site, and a county-by-county list of grant money is available at https://www.arkansasedc.com/Rural-Services/division/grants/wildlife-education-grant.