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County Executive's Office

DANE COUNTY BOARD VOTES TO CONNECT YOUTH TO NATURAL RESOURCES

March 05, 2020
Lauren Kuhl, 608-283-1433
County Board

The Dane County Board of Supervisors will meet at 7:00pm tonight for their regularly scheduled meeting.  The Board will consider two resolutions that will connect youth in Dane County with the county’s natural resources. 

 

The first resolution would allow for the County’s Parks Division to continue to work with Operation Fresh Start to provide and supervise youth conservation crews to work on county lands to learn valuable natural resource and park management skills in an outdoor setting.  The agreement will go through the end of 2020, at a cost of $124,000.

 

Operation Fresh Start provides a path forward for disconnected youth in Dane County, ages 16-24, through education, mentoring, and employment training.  Operation Fresh Start’s programs offer youth and young adults opportunities to gain meaningful, supported work experience, while completing their high school diploma or industry certifications and continuing on to higher education and/or self-sustaining employment.

 

“Anytime we can connect youth with the outdoors, that’s a positive step,” said County Board Chair Analiese Eicher (District 3), and Park Commission member.  “The youth in these programs have likely had some hard life experiences.  Working with our County Parks can help them be successful in their lives, and we need to continue supporting programs like this.”

 

The Board will also vote on a resolution accepting an Urban Forestry grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for $25,000.  The grant will be used to develop an education and outreach program targeted at underrepresented groups in the tree care industry.  The Department will hire at least two Limited Term Employees that come from existing Operation Fresh Start crews or other underrepresented groups to develop job skills important to success in the Urban Forestry industry. 

 

County Board Supervisor Michele Ritt (District 18), chair of the Environment, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Committee, said “this grant will give residents who may not otherwise have the opportunity to gain on the job training and potential connection to a career in forestry and tree care.” 

Other items before the Board include:

  • A purchase of Land in the Town of Mazomanie for Halfway Prairie School County Park.  If approved, the 74-acre property will be purchased for $484,700.  The property includes the Halfway Prairie School – the oldest existing rural elementary schoolhouse in Dane County.

  • A lease for office space to provide more localized services in communities that have been identified as needing these services the most.  Three community programs will be centralized in this space: Joining Forces for Families, the Community Restorative Court, and the Immigration Affairs Unit.

     

The County Board will meet in room 201 of the City-County Building.  A link to the agenda is available here.