A new effort to ensure our Dane County parks stay strong for generations to come was unveiled Thursday night. The operative word there is “our” Dane County parks, because it describes the unique relationship each park user has with their park of choice.

Whether it’s hiking or disc golf or dog-walking or a trail accessible to wheelchairs, we tend to think of the park we go to as our park. But we need to protect these special places and indeed enhance them, and tax dollars alone can’t do it all.

With the generous help of the Madison Community Foundation, the Friends of the Dane County Parks have started an endowment drive with an opening goal of $150,000. That’ll be the foundation for an endowment that will fund naturalist positions, educational displays, day camps and other programming.

We hope you’ll join us in supporting the effort and leveraging the Community Foundation’s support.

After all these Dane County parks are our parks and we want to enjoy them for a long time to come.