Drew Central SD to benefit from AGFC fine grant program
If sportsmen in Drew County have ever occurred a fine while hunting or fishing, know the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has put the money to good use.
Last Wednesday afternoon, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission Division of Rural Services has awarded grants totaling $531,602.23 to promote wildlife education and improve school conservation programs to 253 schools and conservation districts in 71 Arkansas counties.
The grant program is funded by the AGFC through fines collected from hunting and fishing violations. Only money collected in the county where the violation occurred may be used as grant funds for that county.
On the list to benefit from those fines in 2019 in Drew County are Drew Central High School (awarded $5,452.28) and Drew Central Middle School (awarded $629.62).
All schools in the state are eligible to participate in the program. The funding schools have received in previous years has helped create and maintain archery, fishing and competitive shooting sports programs.
Schools also use the money to help improve wildlife education by purchasing educational materials, materials for the creation of indoor and outdoor habitats, lab supplies, and field trips to AGFC nature and education centers.
Conservation districts use the funding to help promote wildlife conservation awareness in the communities by hosting environmental education days and fishing derbies for children of all ages.
“Now, more than ever, quality of life plays a larger role in where people look for jobs and raise their families,” AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston was quoted as saying in a news release announcing the grant monies. “This is a great opportunity for our state, as several of the programs funded through the Wildlife Education grant improve educational opportunities while promoting volunteerism and community involvement, all of which contribute to stronger communities.”
Outdoor education plays a vital role in understanding the need to encourage a more viable existence for Arkansas’ youth, according to AGFC Chief of Education Tabbi Kinion.
“By understanding habitat and resource management, we hope to develop a connection between the state’s youth and our wonderful natural resources,” she explained.
For more information, including a complete list of award recipients, visit https://www.arkansasedc.com/Rural-Services/division/grants/grant-recipients.
Other Southeast Arkansas organizations that will benefit from this AGFC program include two elementary schools from Ashley County; a Bradley County conservation district; Lake Village Lakeside High School in Chicot County; the two high schools and Kingsland Elementary School in Cleveland County; Fordyce High School in Dallas County; two schools in the McGehee School District and Cornerstone Christian Academy in Desha County; the Pine Bluff School District and a conservation district in Jefferson County; and Star City Middle School in Lincoln County.