Arizona Lottery Partners with National Forest Foundation to establish Goldfield Nursery Facility
PHOENIX— (June 2, 2022) — On Thursday, June 2, 2022, the Arizona Lottery unveiled its newest Gives Back sponsorship program: the Tonto National Forest Goldfield Fire Center’s Cactus Nursery, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation’s “Save Our Saguaros” conservation initiative.
True to its mission to give back to the community, the Arizona Lottery has partnered with local non-profits, business, and land management agencies, including the National Forest Foundation (NFF), Natural Restorations, Four Peaks Brewery, and the Tonto National Forest, to launch a cactus rehabilitation nursery that aims to protect and restore Arizona’s iconic saguaro cactus.
In 2020, the Bush Fire burned almost 200,000 acres of iconic Sonoran Desert habitat just outside of the Phoenix Metro area, damaging tens of thousands of cacti. The unique partnership and nursery concept, sponsored by the Arizona Lottery, marks the establishment of an innovative conservation effort that aims to revegetate key areas impacted as a result of the Bush Fire at the base of the Four Peaks Mountains. This nursery is the first cacti restoration site of its kind in the Phoenix-Metro area.
In its ongoing commitment to environmental conservation, the Arizona Lottery and its Gives Back program has transferred $5,000 in sponsorships to fund and launch the Goldfield Fire Center’s Cactus Nursery. This funding is also securing another $20,000 in matching funds for a $25,000 total impact.
“The mission of the Arizona Lottery is to support Arizona programs for the public benefit by providing fun while giving back,” said John Gilliland, Arizona Lottery’s public information officer. “Proceeds from Arizona Lottery ticket sales go to programs and organizations that help Arizona’s communities in four key areas, including environmental conservation. This nursery supports that mission by working to help Saguaros - a symbol of the Southwest and unique to Arizona - overcome wildfire and invasive species to continue to thrive for future generations to enjoy.”
Located on the Tonto National Forest near the area burned by the Bush Fire, the new Goldfield Cactus Nursery will provide a safe environment for salvaged saguaros and other native cacti, which will be protected and conditioned for restoration within the burn scar. This project is one of the first of its kind and the rehabilitated cacti that are re-planted will count towards the National Forest Foundation’s “50 Million For Our Forests” campaign due to their importance in Arizona’s ecosystem.
“We are truly grateful for the Arizona Lottery Gives Back Sponsorship, which has allowed the National Forest Foundation to catalyze partner action after the Bush Fire, to leverage resources to restore these important landscapes and watersheds, and to find creative ways to protect Arizona’s iconic saguaro cacti and the Sonoran Desert ecosystem” said Rebecca Davidson, NFF’s Southwest Region Director.
The Goldfield Cactus Nursery is vital to restoring our Valley’s ecosystem and stunning Sonoran Desert landscape, making the Arizona Lottery and its Give Back Sponsorship program a driving force in the state’s environmental and economic conservation and development. The Arizona Lottery is one of the leading monetary contributors of environmental conservation in the state, giving back more than $10 million annually to various environmental conservation programs and organizations, including the Heritage Fund.