Category Archives: CD Besadny Conservation Grant Program

Bat Talk and Walk Program

Guest blog by: North Lakeland Discovery Center One of the goals of the North Lakeland Discovery Center, a nonprofit environmental education center in northern Wisconsin, is to connect our community to the natural world. We do this through programs, hikes, lectures, workshops and most importantly, citizen science. Our project this summer and early fall was our Bat Walk and Live Education Bat Programs....

2017 Conservation Grants Announced

Congratulations to our 2017 C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant recipients! The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin has awarded $27,945 to 29 applicants through the 2017 C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant Program. The program annually awards grants up to $1,000 that support the conservation of Wisconsin’s natural resources and support education and outreach. The 2017 grant projects range from pollinator conservation to community trail building. “We believe that nature has inherent value and that people want to make...

Restoration at Guckenberg-Sturm Preserve

By: Jonathan D. Steffen, former intern with the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust. The Guckenberg-Sturm Preserve (also known as Stroebe Island Marsh) is owned and managed by the Northeast Wisconsin Land trust and encompasses an area of 48 acres located in the Village of Fox Crossing (formerly the Town of Menasha). In the last year, the preserve has undergone many restoration efforts. Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust staff and volunteers have had tremendous success removing invasive species...

My Time at Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center- Hudson, WI

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center provides unique opportunities to learn and explore the outdoors. With property on both the Minnesota and Wisconsin sides of the scenic St. Croix River, the nature center preserves 725 acres of wildlife habitat while also providing educational opportunities for over 7,000 K-12 students annually. Hiking trails wind through restored and prairie habitat and mixed deciduous forest on the 300 acre Wisconsin campus. With help from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin’s C.D. Besadny Conservation...

Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program: Valued volunteers

By Becky Sapper, University of Wisconsin Extension   Do you enjoy Wisconsin’s vast natural resources? Do you get energized by being outside? Are you a life-long learner, who wonders about nature? Do you like to make a difference? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you have something in common with Wisconsin’s 400 certified Master Naturalist Volunteers! Or, perhaps, you are already one of them. Volunteers have passion, interest and dedication and...

Translocation project gives Wisconsin’s salamanders a helping hand

  By Lindsay Renick Mayer This story has been re-printed from the Amphibian Survival Alliance’s Spring 2016 issue of FrogLog Seven years after staff at the Mequon Nature Preserve (MNP) in southeastern Wisconsin began a project to re-establish the hardwood forests that once dominated the landscape, they noticed that while snakes, frogs and birds had returned in abundance, one important resident family of species was still missing: salamanders. Farmland development, parking lot construction and other...

Flambeau River Forest fund: Protect what you love, and help others love it, too

By Lisa Charron   Imagine 90,000 acres of protected forest. Seventy-five miles of hardwood-lined river winds its way through the property. Paddlers and people fishing drift on the open water, while thrill-seekers maneuver through the rapids. Deer, wolves, raccoon, black bear, otter, bald eagles and ospreys make their homes along the lush banks while musky, sturgeon, trout, walleye, bass and pan fish thrive in the waters. Families spend evenings around the fire in the rustic...

Battling invasive species with herbicide and education

By Jill Hapner, Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.   Give the natives a hand At first glance, it looks like a peaceful grassland. But if you look closer, you will see a battle unfolding. Controlling invasive species is challenging, and replacing those invaders with native species can be a long process. In 2011 the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium (SEWISC) initiated plans to establish a small native prairie restoration demonstration site on the grounds...

The ugly side of road salt, and how you can keep it out of Lake Wingra

By Susan Frett, Friends of Lake Wingra   Lake Wingra is the smallest of the five Madison lakes, and it is a hidden treasure on the near west side of Madison. It is well-loved by people who live nearby, with many neighbors visiting daily to paddle on the lake, play Frisbee in the park, try their luck catching fish, walk their dogs or simply sit along the shoreline and enjoy the peaceful view. During the...

Keeping leaves (and nutrients!) out of our streets and lakes

By Theresa Vander Woude, Clean Lakes Alliance   By the time leaves have started to fall in Dane County, most of us have tucked away swimsuits and beach towels for the year. The lakes are too cold to swim in and too liquid for winter sports. This fall, Clean Lakes Alliance and the Village of DeForest partnered to tackle one of our lakes’ biggest headaches: nutrient pollution from fall leaves. In particular, we wanted to answer...

Restoring wild rice for waterfowl in the Mead Wildlife Area

By Patrice Eyers, guest blogger from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources As far back as one can imagine, the area that sits between Wausau and Stevens Point along the Little Eau Pleine River, has been cherished for its abundance of natural resources. In pre-settlement times, the Chippewa inhabited Smokey Hill, a forested island in the former Rice Lake. The river and the lowland marshes provided a bounty of white-tail deer, bear, fish, beaver, muskrat,...

A home for purple martins on Memory Lake

By Glenn Rolloff, Village of Grantsburg The Grantsburg, Wisconsin, area is surrounded by 1000s of acres of wildlife reserves including the 17,000-acre Crex Wildlife Area and the 14,000-acre Fish Lake Wildlife area. These large sanctuaries attract trumpeter swans, Canadian geese, sandhill cranes and even a lone garganey duck from far off Asia shores! The “big birds” certainly have a home. But nestled in the four square miles of Grantsburg Village is tiny Memory Lake. On its shores,...

Traveling through time with the UWM weather station

By Lindsay Renick Mayer, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin Cedarburg Bog State Natural Area is special for many reasons. It was the second place in Wisconsin to receive the state natural area designation. It is the most intact large bog in the southeastern part of the state. It contains what is likely North America’s southernmost string bog—a bog with stunted cedars and tamaracks that alternate in a unique pattern with wetter areas and sedges. And,...

Hunters of the sky and the human connection

By Jillaine Burton, Raptor Trainer and Educator, Open Door Bird Sanctuary Hunters of the Sky. What does that make you think of? Fighter planes? Pterodactyls? Drones? How about raptors or birds of prey? At the Open Door Sanctuary, we currently care for 11 raptors, all non-releasable for one reason or another, but still quite majestic in their own right. About 20 years ago when I first began to realize I had an affinity for nature,...

Community conservation: 25 years of the C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant Program

By Caitlin Williamson, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin The Natural Resources Foundation has been a model for community conservation for more than 25 years by providing hundreds of small, matching grants to local conservation groups in Wisconsin through the C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant Program. Created in 1990, the program fosters responsible stewardship of Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife by supporting grassroots, community-based projects. To date, the Natural Resources Foundation has awarded $420,000 to more than...

Bad River Youth Outdoors: Good waters, good life

By Caitlin E. Williamson, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin Bad River Youth Outdoors is gearing up for its third summer of watershed education with tribal youth from the Bad River Ojibwe Indian Reservation, a four-week program designed to get kids outside and to learn more about the waterways of Lake Superior and the Bad River watershed. In its first year, BRYO received funding to purchase equipment from the Natural Resources Foundation’s C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant...

Bat Stewards in the Chippewa Valley: Citizen science to conserve Wisconsin’s bats

By Emily Lind, citizen science technician at the Citizen Science Center, Beaver Creek Reserve Wisconsin has seven species of bat, four of which are threatened, while three are listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Bats are both biologically and economically important because they pollinate, disperse seeds and consume millions of insects every summer night, keeping pests off crops and out of our campsites. Sadly, though, Wisconsin bats are facing serious threats with the discovery...

Goats in the forest: A different kind of land management

By Caitlin Williamson, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin The Riveredge Nature Center in Ozaukee County wanted to try a different approach to land management. A goat approach. Using a local company, Riveredge hired 32 hungry goats (and their herder) to remove dense undergrowth vegetation and eat invasive plants, such as autumn olive and buckthorn, on the nearly 400 acres of forest and prairies in southeastern Wisconsin. The project was supported by a $1,000 grant from...