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C.D. Besadny Conservation Grants

Investing in grassroots conservation and education

The C.D. Besadny Conservation Fund was established to invest in grassroots conservation and education projects that benefit Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife, and that connect people to Wisconsin’s natural resources. Grants range from $500 to $2,000.

Grantmaking Priorities:

Proposals should address one or more of the following priorities:

  • Projects that benefit Wisconsin’s most imperiled natural communities and native plant or wildlife species.
  • Projects that engage and impact underserved communities in Wisconsin and/or support diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within Wisconsin’s conservation and environmental education sectors.
  • Projects that build climate resiliency of Wisconsin’s natural resources through natural climate solutions or climate adaptation.

All projects should demonstrate measurable outcomes. We encourage innovative projects that leverage resources and partnerships.



  • Applicant must be one of the following: a public charity with approved 501(c)(3) exempt status (under section 509(a)(1), 509(a)(2), or 509(a)(3) Type I and Type II); a federal, state, or local governmental unit, an American Indian nation or tribal community; or an accredited school, college, or university. The following types of organizations are not eligible for funding: individuals; businesses; section 509(a)(3) Type III supporting organizations; private foundations; and private operating foundations.
  • Projects must benefit Wisconsin’s natural resources or people.
  • The total project budget may not exceed $10,000, and overhead costs shall not exceed 15% of the grant.
  • Project expenses may not have been incurred prior to submitting the application.
  • A one-to-one match is required. Match may include in-kind support such as volunteer hours or donated materials.
  • Only one application will be accepted per organization per grant cycle.

How to Apply:

  1. Determine if your project addresses our grantmaking priorities and meets our eligibility requirements.
  2. Complete the application (paper copies of applications are not accepted).
  3. Include proof of IRS tax-exempt status (IRS form 501c3 tax determination letter) or letter of support from school administration.
  4. Submit all materials to to Lindsey at by September 1st.
  5. Applicants will be notified six weeks following the submission deadline.

Congratulations to our 2023 CD Besadny Grant recipients

  • Access Ability Wisconsin Inc — Outdoors Access 4 All (OA4A): Representation in Participation, Leadership, and Social Organizers
  • Bong Naturalist Association — Restoration of an ADA Path to an Accessible Wildlife Viewing Hide at Richard Bong State Recreation Area (RBSRA)
  • Driftless Area Land Conservancy — Creating Connection: Building an Interactive Platform for Private Lands Stewardship
  • Friends of the Blufflands — Vista Prairie Restoration
  • Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands — Wetland Forest Transitional Tree Planting
  • Golda Meir School — Meir Meadow
  • Historic Indian Agency House — A Historic Prairie Reborn
  • Lake View Elementary School — Outdoor Classroom & Registered School Forest Management Tools
  • Lodi School Forest — Lodi School Forest Habitat Restoration
  • Mississippi Valley Conservancy — Angel Bluff Habitat Restoration
  • Neighborhood House of Milwaukee — Rusty Patch Bumble Bee Protection Project
  • North Lakeland Discovery Center — Conservation Canoe and Snorkeling Series
  • Riverland Conservancy — Merrimac Preserve Operation Fresh Start
  • Superior Rivers Watershed Association — Connecting People, Land, and Water: 2024 Field Trips Series
  • The Prairie Enthusiasts — Restoring Biodiversity to Prairie and Savanna Remnants
  • Urban Ecology Center — Native Plants for Riverside Park
Help us connect children with Wisconsin’s outdoors.
Lindsey Taylor

Lindsey Taylor

Conservation Coordinator

(608) 409-3145

Lindsey Taylor (she/her) supports the Foundation’s conservation programs, including coordinating our grant programs, initiatives, and partnerships that benefit Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife.

Banner photo by Patrick Wilson