The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin has awarded $28,043 to 30 organizations across Wisconsin through the C.D. Besadny Conservation Fund. The fund annually awards grants up to $1,000 that support grassroots conservation and education projects that benefit Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife, and that connect people to Wisconsin’s natural resources. This year’s grant awardees are listed below.

The projects funded in 2018 range from providing outdoor learning for urban youth to rare plant monitoring throughout the state. NRF is proud to support this wide range of conservation and education projects across Wisconsin. We are especially excited to invest in the work of our partners who are engaging youth of color and other traditionally underserved communities in environmental education. For example, Lussier Community Education Center, one of this year’s grant recipients, will use the funds to bring K-5 youth from their afterschool program to UW-Madison Arboretum throughout the year, for a series of on-site open exploration, interactive activities and games (pictured above).

“Nearly all young people in LCEC’s free afterschool and summer programs are children of color and live in households with limited means, and their access to and use of the diverse, beautiful natural places that surround Madison is often limited,” said Susan Ramspacher, assistant director of the Lussier Community Education Center. “This project aims to shift that dynamic and expand children’s sense of self in nature by introducing young people from LCEC to the wild and natural areas of our community. We see this as a critical first step in building life-long stewards of nature among our kids, by fostering comfort in the outdoors and an awareness of the wonders found in nature.”

C.D. Besadny Conservation Fund Grant Awardees for 2018:

  • Bayfield High School: Building an Anishinaabe Sugarbush Longhouse (Bayfield County)
  • Bird City Wisconsin: Growing Bird City Participation in the Great Wisconsin Birdathon (Statewide)
  • Boston School Forest: Emily’s Arboretum Path Tree ID Trail (Portage County)
  • City of New Richmond: Willow River Water Trail (St. Croix County)
  • City of Reedsburg: Granite Avenue Park and Smith Conservancy Education Program (Sauk County)
  • Clean Lakes Alliance: Lake Explorer Camp (Dane County)
  • Discovery World: SHARP Literacy and Discovery World Life of Salmon Conservation Program (Milwaukee County)
  • Friends of Lapham Peak State Forest: Invasive Species Removal and Habitat Restoration (Waukesha County)
  • Friends of Perrot State Park: Plant Identification Signs for Pollinator Prairie (Trempealeau County)
  • Friends of Schlitz Audubon Nature Center: Ephemeral Wetland Monitoring Project (Milwaukee County)
  • Friends of The Bird Sanctuary: “You Are Here,” An Invitation to Explore the Barrens of the Douglas County State Wildlife Area (Douglas County)
  • Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands: Entrance Sign for Beaver Hollow Education Area (Bayfield County)
  • Hoo’s Woods Raptor Center: Raptor Environmental Education Programs (Statewide)
  • Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter of Trout Unlimited: Trout in the Classroom at Hammond Elementary School (St. Croix County)
  • Lussier Community Education Center: Outdoor Club at UW-Madison Arboretum (Dane County)
  • Malcolm Shabazz City High School: The Land Ethic Initiative (Dane County)
  • McDill Elementary School: McDill School Forest Storywalk (Portage County)
  • Navarino Nature Center: Wolf River Water Trail Signage and Maps (Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca Counties)
  • Neighborhood House of Milwaukee: Nature Center Stewardship Activities (Milwaukee County)
  • North Lakeland Discovery Center: Nature Playscape Pollinator Garden (Vilas County)
  • Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department: Bird and Pollinator Habitat Enhancements at Virmond County Park (Ozaukee County)
  • River Bend Nature Center: Bat Conservation Education and Outreach (Racine County)
  • Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance: Effects of Prairie Restoration on Small Mammals at the Ho-Chunk Sacred Earth Tract (Sauk County)
  • Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers: Invasive Species Removal Along the Kinnickinnic River Trail (Milwaukee County)
  • St. Croix River Association: Terrestrial Invasive Species Curriculum and Education (Barron, Burnett, Polk, St. Croix, Washburn Counties)
  • University of Wisconsin-Extension: Upham Woods Shoreline Restoration (Juneau County)
  • Waukesha County Land Conservancy: Adopt-a-Preserve Program (Waukesha County)
  • Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame Foundation: Touchscreen Computer Exhibit for Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame Gallery (Marathon County)
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: Supporting the Rare Plant Monitoring Program (Statewide)
  • Woodland Dunes Nature Center: Creek Restoration Project Phase 1 Schultz Parcel (Manitowoc County)

The Wisconsin Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Fund

This endowment fund will provide sustainable support to protect Wisconsin’s turtles, toads, frogs, lizards, snakes, and salamanders for future generations.

Backyard Birding with the Great Wisconsin Birdathon

This year the Great Wisconsin Birdathon participants took part in the Backyard Birding Challenge, finding an incredible 185 species in their own backyards!

Celebrating Nelson Institute’s 50th Anniversary

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the globally respected institution at the University of Wisconsin-Madison named after former Wisconsin Governor and U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, the author of renowned environmental legislation and founder of Earth Day.

Tracking the Phantoms: A Red-shouldered Hawk Telemetry Study

In 2018 the Foundation helped fund the first attempt to monitor Wisconsin’s red-shouldered hawk with more advanced telemetry technology.

We’re Partnering up with Snapshot Wisconsin

We’re excited to announce that the Foundation is partnering with Snapshot Wisconsin to provide more volunteer opportunities for our members!

Feathers – Finders Keepers? Not Really . . .

For generations, feathers have been used in many decorative ways. Once removed from the bird, there is no way to know how they were acquired. The federal migratory bird act of 1972 put specific laws in place to protect all birds to keep them from being killed for their feathers.

Conservation Dogs Lend a Paw in Bumble Bee Surveys

Thanks to the incredible support from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Pollinator Protection Fund, Midwest Conservation Dogs, Inc. has begun training professional detection dogs to locate bumble bee nests.

Conservation, Community, and Racial Justice

Recent events have shined a light on the deeply ingrained injustices that people of color continue to face, particularly the black community. The discrimination, violence, and oppression have left me and my colleagues at the Foundation deeply disturbed. We are angry. We are sad. We also stand in solidarity with all who are working to assure social and racial justice.

7 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary

While most Earth Day in-person and large events have been canceled, the celebration of the nation-wide event that began right here in Wisconsin continues. 

14 Things We ❤️ About Wisconsin

To celebrate Valentine’s Day we have compiled a list of 14 things we love about our valentine—Wisconsin.