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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 next grant application deadline is April 1, 2024.

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 $78,000 to date. Projects have ranged from capacity-building activities for Friends Groups, purchase of trail maintenance and invasive species removal equipment, education materials, and special event programming.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 2023 funding recipients

Anderson Park Friends

Purchase a seed spreader and cover crop seeds for the food pantry garden to enrich the soil at Anderson County Park.

Capital Off Road Pathfinders

Purchase a powered track barrow for volunteer-maintained mountain bike trails at CamRock County Park.

Friends of Badger Mill Creek Environmental Corridor

Purchase tools for restoration of the Ice Age Trail Junction Natural Resource Area.

Friends of Lower Mud Lake

Purchase land restoration tools for Lower Mud Lake Natural Resource Area.

Friends of McCarthy Park

Repair storage building heater and purchase heating mats and insulated machine covers for Friends' equipment used by volunteers to groom cross country ski trails at McCarthy Youth and Conservation County Park.

Friends of Schumacher Farm

Create marketing and outreach materials for special events at Schumacher Farm Park.

Friends of Stewart Park

Contract prescribed fire on the remnant prairie and purchase a utility sled to carry equipment for land restoration volunteers at Stewart Lake County Park.

Holy Wisdom Monastery

Help offset the cost of a prescribed fire for the North Mendota Wildlife Area.

Prairie Moraine Friends

Purchase tool racks for the land restoration UTV and purchase supplies for special events at Prairie Moraine County Park.

Southern Wisconsin Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Purchase seedings, tree tubes, and stakes for volunteers to plant and water at the Dane County public trout easements on Kittleson Creek & German Valley Creek.

Support Volunteer Organizations

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