Dane County Announces Grants for Local Communities to Improve Tourism, Conservation
April 11, 2011
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive, (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606.
Projects in Verona, Mazomanie, Oregon, Fitchburg, Marshall, Eyed for Dane County Partners for Recreation and Conservation (PARC) Grants
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and Board Chair Scott McDonell announced today the county will partner with local communities and non-profit organizations on a wide range of exciting projects intended to improve tourism, outdoor recreation, and conservation across the county.
Creating a regional soccer facility in Verona, restoring Lake Marion and Black Earth Creek in Mazomanie, and developing a new bike trail between Oregon and the Badger State Trail are among the first projects being recommended to receive county assistance under the new Dane County 'Partners for Recreation and Conservation' or 'PARC' grant program. (A full list of the projects is attached.)
"From Mazomanie to Marshall and everywhere in between, communities in our county have so many innovative ideas how to enhance the quality of life for families, improve outdoor recreation, and restore precious resources," County Executive Kathleen Falk said. "We created this unique new grant program to help tourism, our economy, and for more daily fun for moms, dads, and kids. We're starting our Earth Day celebration a little early!"
"We all know that regular exercise is important for children and adults alike. I'm proud that Dane County is supporting outdoor recreation like soccer and biking," County Board Chairman Scott McDonell said. "While each of these projects address community interests in recreation and conservation, I must say that - as a soccer player - I am particularly excited about the development of the regional soccer facility in Verona. I believe this will be a jewel that will draw people from throughout Southern Wisconsin," he said. "In addition to the tourism benefits of soccer tournaments that fill hotel rooms and restaurants, there is synergy with being the home of a Big Ten university and allowing young athletes the chance to begin considering their future school choices," he added.
"The PARC program was established for projects exactly like these," said Bill Lunney, Chair of the Dane County Parks Commission. "Through this program, our communities and conservation partners will hugely increase opportunities for people to connect with our fantastic parks, trails, rivers, streams and lakes here in Dane County."
Over $1.9 million dollars of grant funding was requested by sixteen grant applications that were submitted. Approximately $1 million is now recommended for funding. In every instance, the local government or conservation organization will at least match the County grant. In many cases, such as the MAYSA/Reddan Soccer Complex and the Lake Marion/Black Earth Creek restoration, the local partners are raising much more than the County contribution. The County has received numerous additional requests from organizations and units of government that have indicated a desire to submit applications for future consideration.
Under the Dane County Partners for Recreation and Conservation (PARC) program created by County Executive Falk in the 2011 county budget, $1-million in county grant funding was available to support the efforts of communities and non-profits to enhance recreation and conservation. The grants listed on the next page have been approved by the Parks Commission and now move on to the County Board.