A coalition to foster a statewide sustainability agenda for Arizona has been propelled by a major grant, two new high-level prominent Charter members, its first public sector recruit and two more utilities joining the diverse business-based group.
Valley Forward Association recently received an $80,000 grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust with the opportunity to renew funding for an additional two years to grow its Arizona Forward initiative, launched last year to promote a healthy environment while encouraging economic vitality. As part of its annual grant program, the Trust awarded more than $1.8 million to 22 Arizona nonprofit organizations.
The University of Arizona and Cox Communications are the newest Charter members, joining nine other high-level entities represented on the Arizona Forward Advisory Board. Other new recruits include Pima County, Unisource Energy Corporation and Southwest Gas Corp., bringing the total roster to 41.
“This generous financial support from the Trust will allow us to continue our education, outreach and advocacy aimed at enhancing the livability and sustainability of communities throughout Arizona,” said Diane Brossart, acting director for Arizona Forward. “Our ultimate goal is to encourage more coordinated regional efforts through an exchange of ideas and information statewide that bolster our overall economic growth and environmental quality.”
Arizona Forward is leveraging the resources of the 43-year-old Valley Forward to bring business and civic leaders together to convene thoughtful public dialogue on statewide sustainability issues. The group’s basic agenda focuses on land use and open space planning, protecting public lands, parks and monuments, as well as transportation, air quality, water and energy.
“We have experienced impressive growth of public and private sector members in a relatively short time, coupled with an initial grant from a private foundation in 2011 and the one we just received from the Trust,” said Kurt Wadlington, Tucson building group leader for Sundt Construction and chairman of Arizona Forward. “It demonstrates the need for what we are providing and encourages corporate stewardship.
ABOUT NINA MASON PULLIAM CHARITABLE TRUST ORGANIZATION
Since the Trust began its grant making in 1998, it has awarded more than $99.2 million to 422 Arizona nonprofit organizations. The Trust also makes grants in Indiana and as of March 31, 2012, had assets of approximately $350 million. Visit ninapulliamtrust.org for more information about the Trust and its programs.
ABOUT ARIZONA FORWARD
Arizona Forward is an initiative that brings business and civic leaders together to convene thoughtful public dialogue and advocacy on statewide sustainability issues. Charter Members include: Arizona Community Foundation, Cox Communications, First Solar, Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, National Bank of Arizona, Solon Corporation, Sundt Construction, The Nature Conservancy, Total Transit, University of Arizona and Wells Fargo.