Sonoran Trails Middle School’s 8th Graders win 2019 Heritage Grant Award

Sonoran Trails Middle School is pleased to announce that Mrs. Petrine’s 8th graders from the 2018-19 school year submitted a grant proposal to the Arizona Game & Fish Department and won!  The Environmental Education grant for “Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat” received $9,844 toward the project. STMS PTO also contributed to the project cost. 

Mrs. Petrine submitted the application to AZ Game and Fish in November, 2019. The grant was received just before the 2018-19 school year ended. STMS PTO supplemented the grant with an additional $3,000 towards the school beautification project adding ocotillos to the space. 

Principal, Bill Dolezal said, “It is amazing when you give control over to students and ask them to solve an authentic problem, the wonderful solutions they can produce. We look forward to working with Arizona Game and Fish to complete their grant.”

The students created and presented plans for creating a habitat that would enhance the campus and attract wildlife. The students then voted for the best presentation of their class and they had the opportunity to vote on the five projects that stood out among all of Mrs. Petrine’s classes. The ideas from the winning presentation were incorporated into the grant that was submitted in October. 

Arizona Game and Fish website states:

The Heritage Fund money comes from Arizona Lottery ticket sales and was established by voter initiative in 1990. Heritage funding goes toward conservation efforts such as protecting endangered species, educating students and the general public about wildlife and the outdoors, and creating new opportunities for outdoor recreation.

The Heritage Fund Grant Program was established by the Arizona Game and Fish Department in 1992 as part of the overall Heritage Fund program.

Superintendent Burdick said, “Our students are amazing problem-solvers as evidenced by this thoughtful school beautification project. Now we can all enjoy their efforts on the STMS campus.”

This class, now freshman at Cactus Shadows High School, included the following plants for the habitat:  Desert ironwood; Mesquite; Blue Palo Verde; Desert Willow Trees (about 5 of each); Baja fairy duster, Ocotillo; San Marcos Hibiscus; and Purple Sage Shrubs (about 5 of each).

Sonoran Trails Middle School is an A+ School of Excellence requiring their students to study Chinese, French or Spanish as a core class. For more information, visit CCUSD’s website at