Dept. of Natural Resources: Stewardship Friends Grants approved for 29 DNR improvement projects

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the approval of Stewardship funding for Friends Grants to 25 non-profit organizations for improvement at DNR properties across the state. Governor Evers’ State Building Commission approved the funding, which includes 29 projects for a total of $326,600 in Stewardship grants, leveraging $371,500 in matching contributions and $3.4 million in total project costs.

The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund was created in 1989 to preserve important natural communities, protect water quality and fisheries, and expand opportunities for outdoor recreation. Within this program, a portion of Stewardship funds from the state’s biennial budget is used to support important recreational projects and improvements at state properties. Many construction and property development projects at DNR’s state parks, trails, forests and other state lands are made possible with the Stewardship Program’s annual funding.

Stewardship funds support several DNR-administered grant programs, including grants to DNR Friends Groups. Through the Stewardship Friends Grant Program, the DNR partners with Friends Groups and nonprofit conservation organizations to improve facilities, build new recreation projects and restore habitat on state properties.

Each year, $500,000 from the Stewardship Program is set aside for grants to Friends Groups and nonprofit conservation organizations. The DNR recognizes the important role Friends Groups play in meeting the development and restoration needs of state properties. Thank you to these partners for their dedication and continued support for DNR properties and these projects.

The following projects were approved and will move forward in the grant award process:

  • Friends of Badger and Sugar River State Trails – Kiosk Replacement at New Glarus
  • Friends of Council Grounds State Park – Brown Trail Loop Invasive Species Removal
  • Friends of Council Grounds State Park – Develop Blue Trail Loop
  • Friends of Governor Dodge State Park – Trailside Picnic Shelter
  • Friends of Hartman Creek Cooperating Association – Dike Trail Rebuild and Resurface Phase II
  • Friends of High Cliff State Park – ADA Picnic Table Replacement
  • Friends of Interstate and Straight Lake State Parks – Educational Interpretive Signage for CCC History at Park
  • Friends of Kohler-Andrae State Park – Beach Parking Lot Safety Path, Phase II of III
  • Friends of Lake Wissota State Park – Nature Trail Boardwalk Replacement
  • Friends of Lapham Peak – New Lodge Building at Lapham Peak Phase II
  • Friends of Merrick State Park – ADA Canoe and Kayak dock extension
  • Friends of Mirror Lake State Park – Establish New Host Site 2023 Phase I
  • Friends of Mirror Lake State Park – Office Drinking Bottle Filler Fountain
  • Friends of Mirror Lake State Park – Replace Firewood Shed at Bluewater Bay Camp Host Site
  • Friends of Mirror Lake State Park – Updated Trail Maps and Interpretive Signs Phase I
  • Friends of Peninsula State Park – Peninsula Recreation Signage Project
  • Friends of Potawatomi State Park – Park Shelter Repairs
  • Friends of Red Cedar State Trail – Gazebo Repair
  • Friends of Rib Mountain State Park – Amphitheater Safety Barrier Reconstruction
  • Friends of Rock Island State Park, Inc. – Rock Island Comprehensive Signage Plan
  • Friends of the Fox River State Trail – Fox River Trail Reconstruction Phase II
  • Friends of the Military Ridge – Information Panels in Mt. Horeb and Riley
  • Friends of Whitefish Dunes, Inc. – Picnic Shelter Repairs
  • Friends of Wildcat Mountain State Park – Comprehensive Trail Evaluation and Repairs
  • Friends of Willow River and Kinnickinnic State Parks, Inc. – Single Track Trail Network Phase III
  • Friends of Yellowstone Lake State Park – ADA accessible Kayak Launch Area Phase I
  • Ice Age Trail Alliance – Ice Age Trail Reroutes and Updates at Potawatomi State Park
  • Kettle Moraine Natural History Association – Invasive Species Removal at Northern Scupper Springs and Savannas
  • Newport Wilderness Society – Fern Trail Boardwalk Restoration Phase II

Learn more about the Stewardship grant and Friends Group programs at the Grants to Friends Groups and Friends Group webpages.