Funding available to support volunteer-based monitoring projects

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MADISON – Individuals, community and school groups, conservation organizations and local governments that enlist volunteers to gather critical information on Wisconsin plants, animals, water and other natural resources are invited to apply for up to $5,000 to help fund those monitoring activities.

The Department of Natural Resources has released a Request for Proposals for the Citizen-based Monitoring Partnership Program and is accepting applications now. The request for proposals and application guidelines can be found on the Citizen-based Monitoring Network website (exit DNR).

“Citizen-based monitoring helps the state by filling priority data gaps while also empowering volunteers to make a difference locally and statewide,” says Eva Lewandowski, DNR coordinator of the Citizen-based Monitoring Network. “Our Partnership Program provides citizen-based monitoring groups with the resources they need to expand their contribution to natural resource conservation.”

DNR provides $100,000 annually to assist citizen groups that are conducting high priority natural resource monitoring projects in Wisconsin. The Partnership Program application is open to any organization or individual conducting citizen-based monitoring that addresses priority species and habitat data needs in Wisconsin. The application is due June 6, 2016.

Projects can apply for up to $5,000 to fund monitoring activities from July 1, 2016 to June 20, 2017.

DNR has been providing Partnership Program funds to volunteer monitoring projects since 2004. In that time, 219 projects have received more than $1 million in funding. In previous years, funded projects have focused on topics like training bat monitoring volunteers, conducting freshwater mussel surveys, and tracking water quality.