Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

County Awards Grants for Local Conservation, Restoration, Education Programs

April 22, 2013
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858
County Executive


Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced the approval of $18,718.00 in grant awards through the Dane County Environmental Council’s Community Partners and Capital Equipment grant programs.  Twenty-one projects will enable local nonprofits to restore natural areas and promote conservation and education throughout the county. 


“From youth education programs, to prairie restoration and invasive species removal, these grants help conservation groups and communities across Dane County make their projects a reality,” said Parisi.  “Once complete, these worthwhile improvements will enhance our outdoor spaces for the enjoyment of all Dane County’s residents and visitors.”


Dane County Environmental Council grants award funding to a diverse group of community organizations, school districts, and municipalities.  All of the projects must take place in Dane County and provide a benefit to Dane County natural resources and residents.  A full listing of grant recipients can be found below.   


“The projects that come before the Council are great examples of how a little can go a long way,” said Shelly Allness, chair of the Council.  “Each project will provide positive impacts throughout the county.”  Examples of this year’s projects include prairie and wetland restoration, environmental education, trail improvements, equipment purchases to manage invasive species, and interpretive signage.  


Funding for Environmental Council grants is provided through Dane County’s Land and Water Legacy Initiative and generous donations from local businesses, including the MG&E foundation. Most grant recipients also provide matching funds in order to complete their projects. 


The Dane County Environmental Council is a seven-member panel appointed by Parisi and confirmed by the County Board.  The Council assists groups in recognizing and protecting natural areas in Dane County and assumes an educational role in the awareness, conservation and protection of the environment. 

For more information on the Dane County Environmental Council, visit: contact Mindy Habecker at habecker@co.dane.wi.usor 224-3718.


- 2013 Awarded Environmental Council Grants -


Community Partner Grant Program  2013


Aldo Leopold Nature Center            $500.00          


Funds will be used to purchase materials to assist an invasive species education project at the Also Leopold Nature Center’s Black Earth Campus.  This includes such items as maps and informational brochures on invasive species.


Friends of Cherokee Marsh   $450.00                      


Funds will be used to purchase educational sign board improvements for the Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park including an area map.


Friends of Donald Park         $751.00                      


Funds will be used to produce 2000 copies of an interpretive map that will be available in containers at trailheads.  Three heritage routes will be color-coded and the back side of the map will detail what visitors can see and learn while hiking the trails.


Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy   $900.00                      


Funds will be used to develop field trip lesson plan enhancements that include meeting learning objectives needed by K- Fifth grade school classes.  This will make the field trips offered help meet the State of Wisconsin new “common core” standards and the “Next Generation Science Standards” that schools will need to adopt.


Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy   $800.00                      


Funds will be used to provide an all-day field based teacher training for middle and high school teachers on conducting stream monitoring using the new Water Action Volunteers curriculum.  Funds will also provide support for five teachers and their classes a naturalist-led stream monitoring field trip to the Pheasant Branch Conservancy.


Ice Age Trail Alliance, Inc.     $940.00                      


Funds will provide professional services to remove brushy invasive species from an overlook of the Ice Age Trail that helps expand the oak savanna and goat prairie near Cross Plains.      




Madison Children’s Museum   $900.00       


Funds will assist in developing a Hmong garden where youth will learn to grow, harvest, store and use the produce as part of the museum’s Rooftop Ramble.  Hmong gardeners represent about 21% of Dane County’s Farmer’s market growers.  This project will also help create botanical diversity through use of traditional Hmong gardening methods.


Natural Heritage Land Trust$1000.00        


Funds will be used for a Patrick Marsh restoration and student service learning project where local middle school students will do the fall seeding.  Prairie seed will be purchased, collected and then seeded to move towards the goal of restoring 80 acres within the Patrick Marsh Natural Resource Area near Sun Prairie.


Swamplovers Foundation Inc.                      $480.00                      


Funds will be used for reintroducing endangered Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchids into the Swamplovers Nature Preserve with some along the Ice Age Trail near Cross Plains.  Several tours are scheduled of this preserve for 2013.


Town of Middleton   $1000.00        


Funds will be used for hiring professional services to restore a prairie in the 20 acre Goth Conservancy off of West Old Sauk Road.  The work will include site preparation and seeding of the prairie.


Village of DeForest Park, Recreation & Natural Resources Department  $997.00


Funds will be used to provide vegetative diversity within and along a spring fed pond in the Upper Yahara River Corridor parkland to improve the park user experience.  This park is adjacent to a 2.37 mile trail that links the Village to the Corridor.  The pond is available for fishing in the summer and ice skating in the winter.     


Total amount awarded for the Community Partners grants:  $8718.00


2013 Capital Equipment Grant Program


Aldo Leopold Nature Center            $730.00         


Funds will assist in purchasing a trailer for use on habitat restoration projects at the Monona Campus.






Benedictine Life Foundation            $1247.00        


Funds will be used to purchase equipment for prairie burns at the Holy Wisdom Monastery.  This will allow the burn crews to conduct the burns safely and more efficiently on an ongoing basis for managing the prairies.


Friends of the Arboretum     $1250.00                    


Funds will be used to purchase professional services to remove and control invasive shrubs and trees in the restoration of a remnant dry lime prairie at the Raymond Road Prairie in the City of Madison.


Friends of Donald Park         $1295.00        


Funds will be used to purchase the fabrication of an environmentally themed interpretive panel for Donald Park. The panel themes are the Driftless areas, oak savannas and bluebird ecology and restoration.


Ice Age Trail Alliance$1570.00        


Funds will be used to purchase a Billy Goat weed mower to allow for land stewardship and trail maintenance work.


Rock River Coalition       $871.00     


 Funds will be used for equipping students to be citizen stream monitors in Dane County.  Teacher training will also be included with this project.


Upper Sugar River Watershed Association$1039.00        


Funds will be used to purchase cattle fencing, a waterproof camera and a telescoping gas pole pruner for documenting and conducting stewardship work along the Upper Sugar River.


Village of Belleville                $225.00        


Funds will be used to purchase directional and interpretive signage for along a new trail by the Sugar River in a new conservation area.


Village of Cross Plains                        $1100.00    


Funds will be used to purchase professional services to remove and control invasive species in the Hickory Hill Preserve.





Wings Over Wisconsin                      $673.00    

Funds will be used to purchase equipment such as a chain saw, trimmer, brush cutting kit and backpack sprayer to protect the newly constructed wetland from invasive plants near the Deansville State Wildlife Area northeast of Sun Prairie.     


Total amount awarded for the Capital Equipment grants:  $10,000.00


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