Budget cuts are tough medicine. But, with state revenues at a low, and a constitutional requirement to balance the budget, sometimes there is no choice. There is a silver lining, however, and that is when citizens, government agencies and non-profit organizations think creatively and band together to find solutions.
A perfect example of working together has to do with Arizona State Parks. On January 15, 2010, the State Parks Board voted to close thirteen State Parks, and keep only nine open. Four parks had already been closed. Posted on the State Park website, was the following statement, "The nine parks that will remain open are ones that generate the most revenue back into the parks operating revolving funds. The parks that will remain open include Buckskin Mountain State Park in Parker, Catalina State Park near Tucson, Cattail Cove State Park in Lake Havasu City, Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area in Show Low, Kartchner Caverns State Park in Benson, Lake Havasu State Park, Patagonia Lake State Park and Slide Rock State Park in Sedona."
But, now that has changed as a variety of groups stepped up to help prevent many of the closures. On March 18, 2010, the State Parks website had an updated notice, "After an unprecedented series of meetings with rural communities, the Arizona State Parks Board today voted to allow staff to enter into agreements to keep four State Parks open into the future although three would be managed by other entities. Two more agreements will extend the closure dates for Tonto Natural Bridge State Park and Roper Lake State Park," said Executive Director Renee Bahl.
Another solution was to put some parks on a 5 Day Schedule, with Fort Verde State Historic Park, Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, Tonto Natural Bridge State Park and Tubac Presidio State Historic Park closing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Now, Arizona Highways Magazine is stepping up to lend assistance to the Parks, in a win-win concept for both agencies.
Here's how it works in brief: When you take out a $24 subscription to Arizona Highways within the next year, $5 of that will benefit the Arizona State parks, via the State Parks Foundation (a fund that cannot be swept by legislators). One of the great things about this promotion, is that you can specify which park benefits from your subscription! Click here to read the Arizona Highways Promotion Form.
For example, some of our nearby state parks that could be helped by this promotion include Jerome State Historic Park, Slide Rock State Park and Fort Verde State Historic Park.
Here is the press release from Arizona Highways Magazine, which provides more details on the program:
STATE-AGENCIES CREATE UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP
TO SURVIVE STATE’S FUNDING CRISIS
ARIZONA – (April 6, 2010) – Arizona Highways magazine and Arizona State Parks, two iconic state-owned institutions, have created a unique partnership to support each other and survive the impact of the state’s funding crisis. Both self-funded organizations are vital to the state’s tourism industry, yet subject to fund sweeps, cuts and closures. Through a very simple subscription drive benefiting State Parks statewide, Arizona Highways magazine hopes to help keep parks open through the pages of its magazine.
Throughout the next year, for every $24 subscription (12 issues) to Arizona Highways magazine, $5 will benefit Arizona State Parks via the State Parks Foundation – a non-profit group that advocates for the entire Arizona State Park system. At the time of subscribing, people can choose which park their $5 will support.
The magazine’s stunning photography of landscapes along with the compelling natural and historical stories draw people to Arizona, and the agencies are challenging every Arizonan to assist in this quest. The goal is to encourage Arizona residents and businesses to subscribe to the magazine and to use subscriptions as gifts for employees and family members who live in other states and countries.
“Numerous communities are putting forward tremendous grass-root efforts to save their respective parks, at least temporarily, but we need thousands of new visitors to come to these communities,” said Renee Bahl, executive director of Arizona State Parks. “We really like the idea that everyone can get involved by sending the magazine to families and in addition there will be five dollars generated directly to help the park they enjoy.”
“A significant benefit of this program is that the funds are not subject to reduction or redirection by the state legislature because the money goes directly to the Arizona State Parks Foundation,” said Win Holden, publisher of Arizona Highways magazine. So you can be confident that every dollar will go to support our State Parks.”
“Like Arizona Highways magazine, State Parks shares our mission of promoting tourism and travel throughout the state,” said Holden. “Together we generate millions of dollars in revenue for our state through tourism spending. It makes sense that we work together to keep our organizations thriving positively supporting Arizona’s economy.”
To subscribe and support State Parks, visit www.arizonahighways.com or www.azstateparks.com and click on the “Save our Parks” icon. Be sure to use the special promotion code you’ll find on the Web site. Each year you renew your subscription, $5 will go toward State Parks, as well. If you are a current subscriber, the term of your subscription will be extended by one year and when you pay for that extension, a $5 contribution will be made to the Arizona State Parks Foundation. The same is true for any gift subscription sent to anyone, anywhere in the world.
About Arizona Highways
Arizona Highways magazine’s award-winning photography, travel journalism and its steadfast commitment to discovering the state’s treasures has brought the beauty and splendor of Arizona to visitors and natives alike for more than 80 years. Helping to drive tourism to and through the state, Arizona Highways has subscribers in all 50 states and more than 120 countries. It also has a publishing imprint, Arizona Highways Books, and physical and online retail stores. Newsstand price for Arizona Highways is $3.99 US / $4.99 Canada. Subscriptions are $24 per year. The magazine now is available in digital format at http://www.arizonahighways.com/digital.html. For more information, visit www.arizonahighways.com.