Dane County Parks accepts applications year round for the Conservation Fund Grant Program . This program offers grants to non-profit organizations and local governmental units for the purchase of land or land interests identified in the Dane County Parks & Open Space Plan or for lands in buffer areas immediately adjacent to park lands. 

There are several types of eligible applicants; please read the eligibility information in the detailed guidelines.

Grants will be awarded for capital projects that restore or improve a natural resource or outdoor recreational facility to create a demonstrable, regional benefit. Projects must be on public lands, easements, or leased property that guarantees at least 25 years of public access. Projects proposed for land that has not yet been secured for public access are not eligible. Detailed plans and specifications, including design and construction documents, must be complete for projects to be eligible for grant funding.

Standard grant awards are based on 25% of the project costs. The project costs consist of the appraised property value plus the costs of appraisal(s), title insurance, survey, environmental inspection, recording fees, and relocation payments. If a DNR Stewardship grant is involved, the grant award is based on the DNR certified appraised value. For acquisitions that don’t involve a DNR Stewardship grant, the grant award is based on the appraised value as reviewed and verified by staff or a Certified Review Appraiser (if deemed necessary by staff). Grants for buffer lands immediately adjacent to Dane County park land are based on the conservation easement value of the property for both fee-title and conservation easement acquisitions. A service fee may also be paid to successful applicants and added to the total grant award. 


There is no application deadline.

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