President's Message - Spring 2020

April 30, 2021

After nearly a year from the receipt of our capacity grants from Madison Community Foundation and Schlecht Family Foundation, we are successfully building our Foundation's presence in the community and our infrastructure.

Our volunteers and board members remain our lifeline, but now our staff has been an important component of our progress and support for our volunteers. Thank you to the Foundation's board members, who are thenucleus of our Foundation's success.  

In conjunction with our staff, we have developed a road map for sustainability. We will need to raise at least $65,000 per year of unrestricted funds to continue running the Foundation. To help raise the funds, our staff and Fundraising Committee developed a Toolkit to assist our volunteers, updated our web site and data base; and are assisting in planning our fundraising event in September.

In addition, we are developing a presence in the community. Much of this has been through the Healthy Parks Healthy You partnership. Programming for the initiative has included a press event at the end of March announcing the program with Dr. Mark Thompson from Dean SSM,  Executive Joe Parisi and Bill Lunney from the Foundation. Other developments include,  a historic "COVID-19 Vaccination in a Park" program with Dean Health Plan, SSM Health, Dane County Parks and the Foundation on May 13 at Lunney Lake Farm Park. Additionally we cosponsored a tree giveaway for Earth Day. Later this summer, we will host tree planting events for the Legacy Trees project with MCF.  

The big challenge we face is the retirement of Parks Director Darren Marsh. Darren has been our biggest advocate from the inception of the Foundation and we greatly appreciate his support over the years, as outlined in the Board's Resolution of Appreciation.  We are confident in our future with Land and Water Resources Director Laura Hicklin, Deputy Parks Director Jolene Stinson and Lussier Family Heritage Center manager Lael Pascual, in addition to our team of staff and volunteers. This transition will be a challenge for all of us, but we hope to push through. In his honor we will be sponsoring a major fundraising and appreciation event for Darren on September 9, 2021.

All in all, our future looks bright. So lets quickly look five years into the future at upcoming Foundation and Parks program anniversaries. Some exciting possibilities present themselves.

In 2022 the volunteer program will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary.

In 2023 the HPHY program will be concluding and its success will need to be celebrated.

In 2024 we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our Foundation.

In 2025, we will be  celebrating the 90th Birthday of our County Park System and in

In 2026 we will celebrate 25 years of success of the Lussier Family Heritage Center.

So with all that lets get to the important business of supporting our County Parks.  

Published on
April 30, 2021

Get involved and help maintain our beautiful parks

There are many ways to support the work of the Foundation and help improve the appeal and value of Dane County's park system.