/ Modified apr 13, 2016 9:43 a.m.

Camp Cooper Seeks Funding for Environmental Learning

Center, in use a half century, seeks $120,000 to instruct TUSD students.

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What Tucson school children know as Camp Cooper launched its second major fundraising campaign.

The Cooper Center for Environmental Learning wants to raise up to $120,000 for the next school year.

Camp Cooper has provided educational experiences for elementary and middle school students in the Sonoran Desert for more than 50 years. The program focuses on hands-on experiences in the outdoors with more than 3,000 students visiting each year.

“The goal is for them to have these positive experiences and these new understandings and turn that into positive environmental change in the community,” said Cooper Center Director Colin Waite.

The center receives some funding from the University of Arizona College of Education. It also receives maintenance funding from the Tucson Unified School District, the Marshall Foundation, and the Southwestern Foundation for Education and Historic Preservation.

Roughly 130,000 Southern Arizonans have experienced this Tucson tradition throughout the 50 years.

The Cooper Center, last year, raised more than $80,000 in four months. Since April 1, the program has raised more than $4,000.

The Cooper Center dreams of a building a new green facility that would include showers, a commercial kitchen and renovated sleeping cabins. This project would cost roughly $2,000,000.

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