Foundation now accepting applications for conservation and education grants

Foundation has awarded grants to conservation organizations in every Wisconsin county over 25 years

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For immediate release
May 2, 2016

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin is calling for grant applications for its two matching small grants programs, the C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant Program and the Teachers’ Outdoors Environmental Education Grant Program. The Besadny program awards grants to projects that involve the management and restoration of Wisconsin’s natural resources and/or focus on natural resources education and outreach. The Teachers’ Outdoors program awards grants to projects focused on outdoor environmental education. Both programs provide grants of up to $1,000.

“We know what a big difference our small grants program can make for organizations throughout the state,” said Ruth Oppedahl, executive director of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. “We’re glad to support our partners and the conservation legacy that they’re helping to maintain for our state. We have no doubt that we’ll get another great batch of applicants this cycle.”

The C.D. Besadny Grant Program supports projects in Wisconsin that promote the responsible stewardship of Wisconsin’s natural resources at the local level. The program has awarded $447,000 to nearly 600 organizations in every county in Wisconsin since its inception in 1990. The program is named after former Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary and Foundation founder C.D. “Buzz” Besadny.

The Teachers’ Outdoor Environmental Education Fund provides grants for public school teachers (K-12) to undertake outdoor environmental education projects. The Teachers’ Outdoor Environmental Education Fund was established by Pete Ostlind in memory of his wife Sue Spaeth, a Wisconsin native and elementary school teacher for more than 30 years.

To apply for a grant from either program, download the 2016 grant application and submit it electronically to [email protected] by Sept. 1, 2016. Grants will be disbursed in October. Questions may be directed to the Foundation at 608-266-1430 or [email protected].

In 2015 the Foundation awarded more than $35,000 to 35 organizations through these two grant programs.

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Photo courtesy of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin provides sustainable funding for Wisconsin’s most imperiled species and public lands, while helping citizens connect with our state’s unique natural places. This year marks the Foundation’s 30th year of boosting private sector support for Wisconsin’s public lands, waters and wildlife. Learn more at

Caitlin Williamson
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
[email protected]
(608) 266-1430