Cherokee Marsh Conservation Fund

Do you want to help ensure that Cherokee Marsh remains healthy and beautiful for years to come? You can, by making a contribution to the Cherokee Marsh Conservation Fund.

The Friends of Cherokee Marsh have created the Cherokee Marsh Conservation Fund to provide a permanent and sustainable source of funding for conservation at Cherokee Marsh. Established through the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, the fund supports the management, protection, conservation, restoration and appreciation of Cherokee Marsh and its watershed.

How It Works | Why Cherokee Marsh | Contribute

Why a Fund?

The Cherokee Marsh watershed includes over 2000 acres of publicly owned lands that are home to native plant communities such as sedge meadows, rare fens, tallgrass and wet prairies, and oak openings.

Maintaining and restoring these valued native landscapes requires ongoing management for activities such as clearing invasives and restoring formerly drained wetlands. As public funding for conservation continues to decrease, private contributions to support this work are ever more crucial.

How It Works

In 2013, the Friends of Cherokee Marsh established the fund with an initial contribution of $1000 to the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. We chose to work with the Natural Resources Foundation because of their dedication to natural resources in Wisconsin and their experience in managing funds like ours.

The Natural Resources Foundation manages the fund’s money through their Wisconsin Conservation Endowment, which is a permanently endowed, professionally managed fund made up of dozens of targeted, individual funds invested and managed as a whole.

In 2014, thanks to contributions from many generous donors, the fund exceeded $10,000 in contributions, the minimum required for the fund to begin making annual distributions from earnings to support conservation at Cherokee Marsh. Each year, Natural Resources Foundation staff will consult with the managers of the public lands to decide the best use for the distributions.

As the fund grows, so will the annual distributions. In this way, the fund provides a permanent source of funding for conservation.

Why Cherokee Marsh is Important

Cherokee Marsh, located at the head of the Yahara lakes, is the largest wetland in Dane County, Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Wetlands Association has declared Cherokee Marsh a Wetland Gem for its excellent wildlife habitat, protection of downstream water quality, and recreational and educational opportunities.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has designated 325 acres in Cherokee Marsh as the Cherokee Marsh State Natural Area because it is an outstanding example of Wisconsin’s native landscape of natural communities.

And last but not at all least, Cherokee Marsh is a special place for exploration, quiet reflection, and the enjoyment of nature.

Contribute Today

Your contribution will help protect and preserve Cherokee Marsh. Contributions to the fund are tax deductible.

We have many ways to donate.


Donate to the Cherokee Marsh Conservation Fund online using PayPal or a credit card.

For online donations of $1000 or less made through the link above, the Friends of Cherokee Marsh will cover the transaction fee so your entire donation will be credited to the fund.

You can also donate online through the Natural Resources Foundation. Under I want to donate to an Endowed Fund, enter Cherokee Marsh Conservation Fund.

By Check

Use our donation form for mailed donations. We will apply your entire donation to the fund.

Or if you prefer, you can mail a check to to the Natural Resources Foundation, Attn: Cherokee Marsh Conservation Fund, PO Box 2317, Madison, WI 53701. Make the check out to The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin with Cherokee Marsh Conservation Fund in the memo field.

By Phone

Call the Natural Resources Foundation at (866) 264-4096.

Planned Giving

You can also make a planned gift to the Cherokee Marsh Conservation Fund in a will or bequest.

We very much appreciate any donation amount!

Questions? Natural Resources Foundation staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Call (866) 264-4096 or email