Learn about accessibility in the Parks in our Summer Newsletter!
Read it here.

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 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. You can view grant awards made in 2019-2021 here.

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. Subscribe to our email listserv to find out when our grant cycle begins.

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 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.