Press Release

Media Contact:

Caitlin Williamson, Director of Conservation Programs
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

PHONE: (608) 409-3109



Madison, WI
December 2, 2019

2019 C.D. Besadny Conservation Fund Awarded to 19 organizations across Wisconsin

Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin awards the 2019 C.D. Besadny Conservation Fund to 19 organizations across Wisconsin working to support grassroots conservation and education projects.

Established in 1990, the C.D. Besadny Conservation Fund supports conservation and education projects that benefit every part of Wisconsin—lands, waters, and wildlife—and connects Wisconsinites to natural resources through education and outreach.

Grants range from $500 to $2,000. This year’s awards totaling $25,448 will fund 19 different projects across Wisconsin.

The 2019 awardees are working on several projects throughout the state including: making sure our parks and playgrounds are accessible to all, bringing high-quality educational programs to underserved communities, removing invasive species from natural areas, as well as critical monitoring and research for our lands and wildlife.

The organizations and a brief description of their projects are listed below.

Design and layout for the new ADA accessible playground at High Cliff State Park
Photo via Friends of High Cliff State Park

Bayfield County (Bayfield County)

Provide disposal sites for deer hunters to support efforts to reduce the spread of chronic wasting disease.

Catholic Multicultural Center (Dane County)

Restore native prairie at the CMC’s food pantry garden.

Central Wisconsin Trout Unlimited (Winnebago County)

Pilot a new field monitoring technique to improve water quality data in Wisconsin.

City of Janesville (Rock County)

Install bat houses at a local park in Janesville.

Friends of High Cliff State Park (Calumet County)

Build an ADA accessible playground and recreation area.

Friends of Lapham Peak Unit (Waukesha County)

Remove invasive species from several locations on the property.

Friends of the Mead-McMillan (Portage, Wood, and Marathon Counties)

Build a new ADA accessible waterfowl blind and boardwalk.

Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands (Bayfield County)

Build a new information kiosk at the Badger Hollow Outdoor Education area.

Golden Sands Research Conservation & Development Council (Waushara and Waupaca Counties)

Create new groundwater lesson programming.

Groundswell Conservancy (Dane County)

Purchase two new chainsaws for land restoration and management activities.

Harbor District (Milwaukee County)

Support environmental education in the classroom and on field trips.

Hoo’s Woods Raptor Center (Statewide)

Bring raptor education programs to schools, low-income organizations, and seniors.

Mississippi Valley Conservancy (Crawford County)

Convert the Kickapoo Caverns cave entrance building to an educational center.

Neighborhood House of Milwaukee (Dodge County)

Restore forests and prairies at the Nature Center, as well as fund educational programming.

Riveredge Nature Center (Ozaukee County)

Install rainwater barrels at 23 local schools.

Friends of Schlitz Audubon Nature Center (Milwaukee County)

Engage 175 young students from the area in an ephemeral wetland monitoring citizen science project.

Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium (multiple counties)

Redesign SEWISC’s invasive species website for better education and accessibility.

Upper Sugar River Watershed Association (Dane and Vernon Counties)

Purchase equipment and tools for volunteers.

 UW-Madison Arboretum (Dane County)

Engage citizen scientists in a Mycoflora fungal monitoring citizen science project.

Schulte Garden Volunteers at the Catholic Multicultural Center. Photo via Schulte Gardens

About the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin was created in 1986 and connects generations to the wonders of Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife through conservation, education, engagement, and giving. With the support of over 5,000 members and donors, the Foundation has contributed over $7 million to public and private conservation efforts to protect the lands, waters, and wildlife of Wisconsin. The Foundation also coordinates hundreds of Field Trips annually that are open to the public to explore significant sites and get behind-the-scenes tours of some of our state’s most important conservation projects, and has supported more than 500 grassroots conservation projects in every Wisconsin county through its grant programs.

Learn more at


Caitlin Williamson

Caitlin Williamson

Director of Conservation Programs

(608) 409-3109

Cait oversees the Natural Resources Foundation’s grant programs and initiatives for conservation and environmental education, working closely with partners across the state to ensure that our Foundation has the most significant impact possible on Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife through strategic, science-based investments.