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.
  3. Include proof of IRS tax-exempt status (IRS form 501c3 tax determination letter).
  4. Submit all materials by email to Lindsey at NRFgrants@WisConservation.org by September 1st.
  5. Applicants will be notified within six weeks following the submission deadline.



Congratulations to our 2021 Besadny Grant recipients!

  • Aldo Leopold Community School – Green Roof, Green Schoolyard
  • Baird Creek Preservation Foundation – Supplies for Summer Camps and Field Trips in the Baird Creek Greenway
  • Conservation Dogs Collective – New Zealand Mudsnail Detection Dog Study
  • Douglas County Land and Water Conservation Department – Stop Spiny Regional Prevention Campaign
  • Driftless Area Land Conservancy – Conservation Partners and Programs Guide
  • Friends of Schlitz Audubon Nature Center – Freshwater Mussel Monitoring Project
  • Friends of the Blufflands – Lookout Prairie Restoration
  • Golden Sands Resource Conservation & Development – Aquatic Invasive Species Science Literacy
  • Holy Wisdom Monastery – Better Vision for Visitors: Binoculars for Holy Wisdom Monastery 
  • Navarino Nature Center – Increasing and Improving Handicapped Accessibility at Navarino
  • North Lakeland Discovery Center – Discovery Nature Trail
  • Randolph Cambria-Friesland FFA – Wildlife and Wildflower Trail
  • River Bend Nature Center – Interpretive Nature Trail Kiosks
  • The Aldo Leopold Foundation – Upper and Lower Duhr Savanna Seeding Project 
Lindsey Taylor

Lindsey Taylor

Conservation Programs Coordinator

(608) 409-3145, extension 1045

Lindsey supports the Foundation’s conservation programs, including administering our grant programs, and coordinating our initiatives and partnerships that benefit Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife.