LITTLE ROCK -- Commission-ers with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission passed a minute order at its recent meeting to transfer $769,564 to the Arkansas Division of Rural Services to offer grants for conservation education efforts throughout Arkansas. The money was collected during the last year from fines for wildlife and fishing regulations violations.
"All of that money that we collect from those citations is not used to run this agency; it is returned to the schools in the county where the fine occurred to support the kids of that county," AGFC Education Chief Tabbi Kinion said.
The Division of Rural Services and AGFC opened the application process for these grants at the end of August and the deadline for applications is Oct. 26.
Schools have used these grants to teach conservation programs, fund field trips to nature centers, fund other outdoor experiences and create outdoor classrooms on school grounds to promote healthy learning environments and instill awareness of the outdoors in students.
Many schools also use these grants to provide materials for participation in Archery in the Schools and the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports programs, both available through the AGFC's Education Division.
The total amount of funds available in Columbia County is $8,667.12. In surrounding counties, the amount included Lafayette ($8,230), Nevada ($656.60), Ouachita ($1,478.98) and Union ($24,107.57).