Dane County approved $18,513 in grant awards through the Dane County Environmental Council’s Community Partners and Capital Equipment programs, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced.
“Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the Dane County Environmental Council Grants,” Parisi said. “Through these partnerships, we are able to continue improving and conserving the county’s outdoor spaces, while also creating opportunities to educate and inspire the next generation to care for our natural resources.”
The grants will fund 19 environmental conservation, restoration and education projects across the county.
Examples of this year’s projects include prairie and savanna restoration, environmental education, trail improvements, equipment purchases to manage invasive species, and monitor water quality. All the projects must take place in Dane County and provide a benefit to Dane County natural resources and residents.
Local recipients of Community Partner grants include the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, to purchase communication equipment to help coordinate land stewardship activities with volunteers, $665; Ice Age Trail Alliance, to purchase professional services to cut and treat an area of land choked with invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle, $1,000; and Olbrich Botanical Society, to buy supplies that support the work of the Rose Garden Scout volunteers who scout for insect pests, release beneficial insects and provide education, $1,000.
Capital Equipment Grant Program recipients include Aldo Leopold Nature Center, to purchase portable radios to ensure good communication and coordination for field restoration projects, $511; Clean Lakes Alliance, to purchase turbidity tubes and thermometers to allow for more Yahara Lakes water quality monitoring by volunteers, $2,489; Ice Age Trail Alliance, to help purchase a field and brush mower to help control brushy invasive species like buckthorn, honeysuckle, and thistles that are encroaching on the trails, $2,500; and Olbrich Botanical Society, to purchase sustainable and quiet landscape maintenance equipment including a battery-powered chainsaw, a battery-powered blower and rechargeable batteries for this equipment, $960.
Funding for Environmental Council grants is provided through Dane County’s Land and Water Legacy Initiative as well as donations from local businesses. Grant recipients also provide matching funds to complete their projects.