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Funding the future of our parks

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 will be increasingly able to support the many volunteer and nonprofit organizations that work in our County Parks. If you are interested in being considered for our current round of funding, please complete our grant application.

The Foundation began distributing grants in 2019, and has had three successful rounds of grant applications. 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.

2019 Grants: $17,284 distributed to 11 organizations
2020 Grants: $7,981 distributed to 5 organizations
— 2021 Grants: $17,311 distributed to 9 organizations

Grant applications are typically made available starting in late summer, and are due at the end of October each year. Eligible projects must be related to education, interpretation or volunteerism and take place on County Park land. The Foundation's Allocations Committee reviews applications in November, and grantees are announced by December.

Download the 2022 Grant Application (PDF)
Download the 2022 Grant Application (Word Document)


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

Our 2021 funding recipients

The Foundation is excited to announce the grant recipients from our 2021 funding round, totaling $17,319.

$

2,000

Access Ability Wisconsin

Funding for staff to manage reservations and use of an all-terrain wheelchair at the Lussier Family Heritage Center.

$

1,750

Friends of Anderson Park

Installation of an irrigation system for the food pantry community gardens that serve Oregon, Belleville and Verona.

$

1,769

Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area

Signage, binoculars and other outreach supplies for programming with the Ho-Chunk nation.

$

2,000

Friends of McCarthy Park

Equipment and signage for maintenance of cross-country ski trails, snowshoe trails and the sledding hill.

$

1,800

Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy

Funding for all-terrain wheelchairs and other event costs for programming focused on underserved communities.

$

2,000

Friends of Schumacher Farm Park

Purchase of specialty prairie seeds for the “Ag to Prairie Conversion” project.

$

2,000

Friends of Silverwood

Development of the “Silverwood Healthy Soils Workshop” to educate community members about regenerative soil practices.

$

2,000

Friends of Stewart Park

Rental of timber harvesting equipment, installation of interpretive signage and educational opportunities for an Operation Fresh Start crew.

$

2,000

Prairie Moraine Friends

Installation of interpretive signage and birdhouses for the “Bluebirds in the Park” community education project.

Submit a grant application

Based on the success of our first round of grants, the board has announced a second round. Applications were due October 31, 2020.

Get the application form