Learn about education, accessibility, and inclusion in the Parks!
Read the fall newsletter here.

Funding the future of our parks

The Foundation for Dane County Parks Collaborative Grant is available for Dane County Parks Friend Groups and partner organizations to lead educational programs, implement small projects, and purchase equipment for volunteer workdays. This collaborative grant program can fund a full or partial project/program between $250-$2,000. The grant application period runs from September 1, 2023 to October 15, 2023.

Visit the Friends of Dane County Parks Grant Program for the grant application and more information.

The Friends of the Dane County Parks Endowment (managed by the Madison Community Foundation) was established to support education, interpretation, and volunteerism within our County Parks. The fund is permanent and the interest from the fund is used annually to support these three areas of focus, partially through grants to friends groups and partner organizations. As we grow the Endowment fund, we can increase our support of the many volunteer and nonprofit organizations that work in our County Parks.

The Foundation has been distributing grants since 2019 and has awarded more than $52,000 to date. Projects have ranged from capacity-building activities for Friends Groups, purchase of trail maintenance and invasive species removal equipment, installation of interpretive signage, and special event programming. This year's funding recipients are described below. You can view grant awards made in 2019-2021 here.

The Foundation also contributed to the Dane County Parks' Spring 2023 Mini Grant program to make up the funding deficit and award each of the eligible applicants the full amount requested.

In addition to the Foundation for Dane County Parks Collaborative Grant, there are a number of other grant programs that benefit our parks and provide resources for park Friends groups. Learn more about these opportunities on the Dane County Parks Grant Programs page.

Our 2022 funding recipients

The Foundation is excited to announce the grant recipients from our 2022 funding round, totaling $10,136.


Access Ability Wisconsin

Funding for all-terrain outdoor wheelchairs at five Park events.


Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area

Funding for two events: Ho-Chunk Nation Youth Winter Event and Ho-Chunk Nation Family Wellness through Parks and Outdoors.


Friends of Donald Park

Funding to update and print 2,500 copies of the park interpretive brochure.


Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy

"Make a Memory Days 2023” programming for under-served adults including individuals with limited mobility and those with mild to moderate dementia.


Friends of Schumacher Farm Park

Funding for environmental programming for youth such as hikes and workshops.


Friends of Stewart Park

Funding to update kiosk display and rent equipment for oak savanna restoration.

Support Volunteer Organizations

Donate to help support Friends and other volunteer groups leading Park initiatives in education, interpretation, accessibility, and more.