Funds to help preserve desert habitat as West Valley population grows
Buckeye, Ariz. – August 24, 2020 – The White Tank Mountains Conservancy (WTMC) has received a grant totaling $50,000 from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. The grant will help the WTMC Connectivity Initiative promote sustainable housing development while also preserving hundreds of thousands of acres of beautiful desert habitat enjoyed by so many.
Cities surrounding White Tank Mountain Regional Park and Skyline Regional are among the fastest growing in the country (including Buckeye). Many people enjoy living close to the White Tanks, however, if the area is developed without preservation in mind, the mountains could become barren as animals and plants move away.
Preservation is still possible amid population growth—but it requires keeping corridors open. These corridors are vital for animals to migrate in and out of the White Tanks, where they have babies and bring seeds and feed on local plant life. Many challenges lay ahead, however, as most land in the path of the ideal corridors is privately held or held by the State, and there are existing transportation plans, including a major Interstate. That’s why the WTMC wants to move fast.
“For the past few years, the WTMC has worked to develop strong partnerships and gather needed information to promote preservation,” said Les Meyers, WTMC Executive Director who also has a background in real estate development. “This grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust will give us additional resources to put that plan into action.”
The $50K grant will kickstart phase 2 of the Connectivity Initiative, which will focus on further education and outreach, and working with partners (Arizona Game and Fish Department, landowners/developers, Maricopa County Flood Control District, City of Buckeye, City of Surprise) to develop “best practices” for development and benefits for land owners.
About the Trust: Since the Trust began its grant making in 1998, it has awarded more than $331 million to 1,005 organizations in its home states of Arizona and Indiana. For more information about the Trust and its programs visit www.ninapulliamtrust.org.
Contact: WTMC Executive Director Les Meyers; (602) 762-2262; LMeyers@wtmconservancy.org