Dane County Kicks Off New Recreation And Conservation Program

Dane County communities and nonprofit organizations looking to improve outdoor recreation or natural resources can now apply for county assistance for their projects, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced Wednesday.

Under the Dane County Partners for Recreation and Conservation (PARC) program created by Falk in the 2011 county budget, $1 million in county grant funding is available to support the efforts of communities and nonprofits to enhance recreation and conservation.

“From restoring trout streams, to developing new recreational trails or new sporting complexes, citizens across our county are working on a number of exciting projects that will benefit all of us — young and old,” Falk said in a news release. “We have real, immediate opportunities to not only enhance our quality of life but also bring in new tourism dollars and preserve valuable natural resources not found anywhere else.”

Falk mentioned work to restore the Black Earth Creek in Cross Plains, improvements to Lake Marion in Mazomanie or Lake Belle View in Belleville and plans to expand the Reddan Soccer Complex in Verona as a few examples of projects that could be eligible for Dane County PARC funding.

The new PARC grant dollars could also assist townships interested in widening roads to make them safer for motorists, farmers and bicyclists, according to the news release.

The county will begin accepting applications for PARC grants this month. Those interested in determining whether their projects are eligible for county PARC support are encouraged to contact Dane County Land and Water Resources staff.

Beginning Jan. 19, 2011, applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis. There is no application deadline. Discussing projects with staff before submitting an application is strongly encouraged, especially to help determine whether the proposed project is considered to have a regional benefit. Applications will only be accepted for conservation or outdoor recreation projects that demonstrate a regional benefit.

The application should include: narrative that describes the project and its regional benefits; project maps or plans; estimated cost, grant request amount and sources of financial match; time schedule for project; and partnerships and/or Letters of Support.

Applications should be submitted to Sara Kwitek, Land & Water Resources Department, 1 Fen Oak Court, #223, Madison, WI 53718. Applications can also be e-mailed to Sara at Kwitek@countyofdane.com or faxed at 608-224-3745.