Alliant Energy Foundation provides $5,000 flood assistance grant to Friends of the 400 Trail

Contact: Scott Reigstad (608) 458-3145

Dollars will help group makeup for lost revenues due to flooding and further promote trail

MADISON, WI – August 11, 2008 – The Friends of the 400 Trail were dealt a major blow with the recent flooding that struck the 400 State Trail sections in Juneau and Sauk Counties. Water damage to the trail running between Wonewoc and the group’s trail headquarters in Reedsburg will cause its closure until sometime in 2009, and three key bridges traversing the Baraboo River were completely destroyed and will have to be replaced as well. Initially, an 8-mile portion of the trail from Wonewoc to Elroy was shut down from June 7 through July 2.

It’s been a rough time for the Friends of the 400 Trail with a lot of work in the coming weeks and months to get the trail back into pre-flood shape and to continue to let people know that parts of the 22-mile 400 State Trail are still available for recreational activities. Now, thanks to a $5,000 Rebuilding Our Communities grant from the Alliant Energy Foundation, some of the revenue the group has lost will be offset and they can continue to aggressively market the trail.

“Many non-profit groups across the state, like the Friends of the 400 Trail, have seen a large reduction in revenues and inability to provide services due to the devastating flooding,” said Marthea Fox, Alliant Energy Foundation Executive Director. “The Alliant Energy Foundation wants help out with these unforeseen impacts and ensure that the Friends of the 400 Trail and other non-profits continue to be able to pursue their goals.”

About 41,000 people utilize the 400 State Trail annually for recreational purposes ranging from biking, walking and snowmobiling. The Friends of the 400 Trail rely on commissions earned through the sale of annual and daily passes to individuals using the trail to fund their promotional budget. Fewer visitors have used the trail due the flood damage and the group’s revenue stream has been significantly reduced.

“Due to the increase in gas prices, we increased our budget this year for advertising to promote the trail for bicycle use,” said David Doering, President of the Friends of the 400 Trail. “However, with the condition of the trail caused by the flooding, we estimate that trail pass income will be reduced by 80%, even though our expenses have increased. The grant from the Alliant Energy Foundation will really help out our budget and we appreciate their support.”

The Alliant Energy Foundation’s Rebuilding Our Communities Grant Program was created in response to the extensive flooding across Alliant Energy’s utility service territory in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. The Foundation has allocated $1 million for the program and non-profit groups can apply through October 1st for $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 unrestricted flood recovery grants. Funds are to be used to help groups profits resume or maintain operations.

Non-profit groups can request funds by submitting a brief application form explaining their need and the population they serve that was affected by the flooding. A determination of grant eligibility will be made within 14 days of submission.

To be eligible, an organization must be a registered non-profit organization as defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Service Code. Organizations are encouraged to review eligibility guidelines before applying. Government entities (i.e. schools and public libraries) are not eligible for this program.

Over the past ten years, the Alliant Energy Foundation has contributed more than $26 million across the Alliant Energy utility service territory to projects and organizations through a variety of programs and worthwhile initiatives. To learn more about the Foundation and its Rebuilding Our Communities Grant Program, please visit