Partner project with Operation Fresh Start
thanks to grant from Madison Community Foundation
Natural areas that need restoration and young people at risk both benefit from a
new partnership between Natural Heritage Land Trust and Operation Fresh Start.
The project is thanks, in part, to a recent $38,400 grant from the Madison Community
Foundation. The Dane County Partners for Recreation & Conservation (PARC)
grant program, the other main funding source, awarded $21,700 to the joint project
in May. Project partners will use the funds to make lasting improvements to protected
lands in Dane County and provide job skills and a conservation education to
The project will employ Operation Fresh Start (OFS) crews to complete
conservation and facility improvements at five sites where Natural Heritage Land
Trust is working to permanently protect natural habitats and wetland features.
OFS has decades of success preparing youth struggling against poverty, school
failure and other life-limiting difficulties to become self-sufficient through
employment training and education programs. Work on environmental projects
is part of the OFS focus on community service.
Starting in the fall and winter of 2012, crews will construct fishing platforms
and piers at Black Earth Creek and Lake Belle View in the Village of Belleville,
and construct or reconstruct trails at Cross Plains Conservancy Parks and the
Westport Drumlin State Natural Area. The program also involves restoration
work on various prairie, wetland or savanna habitats at places like Hickory
Hill on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Patrick Marsh, Lake Belle View and
Besides the conservation of cherished local landscapes, says Natural
Heritage Land Trust Executive Director, the joint effort will help the public
enjoy and understand these exceptional and accessible natural areas.
"This project is an important chance for our two organizations to invest,
along with funders, in the future of our communities," he adds. "With the
support of the Madison Community Foundation and the PARC program,
Natural Heritage Land Trust and OFS can give some motivated young
people hands-on experience managing natural places, possibly introducing
them to careers that involve environmental protection and the out-of-doors -
a benefit to all of us and our natural heritage."
The Madison Community Foundation encourages, facilitates and
manages long-term philanthropy and, since 1942, has helped people
realize their philanthropic goals and support charitable interests anywhere
in the world. The community foundation also awards grants throughout
Dane County to build communities. Learn more at madisoncommunityfoundation.org
The County's PARC program provides capital financial assistance for local
government or nonprofit outdoor recreation and conservation projects that
help generate significant regional benefits.
Natural Heritage Land Trust began 30 years ago when a group of people
took responsibility for protecting a stretch of woods along Madison's
Lake Mendota. Today the organization permanently protects more than
8,000 acres in Dane County and the surrounding area.