The Foundation is pleased to be able to use funds to provide Endowment grants to support our many volunteer organizations.
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 2021 Grant Application (PDF)
Download the 2021 Grant Application (Word Document)
The Foundation is excited to announce the grant recipients from our 2020 funding round, totaling $7,981:
Food Pantry Gardens equipment purchases in order to serve two new food pantries.
Updates to stewardship and visitor education materials.
Winter ski and snowshoe trail maintenance equipment purchases.
Creation of a volunteer recruitment and retention program to build volunteer support.
Educational campaign to stop the spread of invasive species along segments of the Ice Age Trail.
We were able to distribute a total of $17,284 in funding in 2019, our first year offering these grants.
Rear-tine rototiller to assist volunteers with the pantry garden that will also assist with other volunteer activities related to demonstration plots, and restoration.
Equipment for volunteers doing invasive species removal.
Tools, material, and educational markers and print materials for prairie restoration for prairie classroom.
Purchase of equipment to assist volunteers with the restoration of Festge Park.
$1,000 towards the Make a Memory educational programs for senior adults and $871 for the purchase of plants for the Prairie Plant Propagation Garden planted by volunteers and used for educational programs.
Marcella’s Bedroom renovation in the farmhouse museum.
Interpretive signage fabrication for the agroforestry demonstration areas.
Domain name, maps, brochures, and speaker to enhance outdoor learning and community involvement.
Creation of content for a restored and moved informational/educational kiosk. The restoration and move of the kiosk will be done by Parks staff with parks funding, and this grant will be used to create content informed by a volunteer kiosk manager who will refresh content a minimum of four times a year.
Oak trees to be planted by volunteers on stream easements to create awareness of how providing shade trees protect coldwater resources.
Creation of the Outdoor Learning Series -- 12 educational events -- in Southwest Dane County.