Latest DDC Grants Inject $202,300 into Door County Communities

Destination Door County (DDC) has awarded $202,300 to local projects as part of the fifth round of grant awards for the organization’s Community Investment Fund.

A total of four community projects were awarded grants ranging from $6,950 to $92,850. Recipients included two local units of government and two non-profit organizations. The funded projects will benefit local residents as well as visitors to Door County.

“Our excitement in announcing these investments in our community continues with our latest round of recipients,” said Julie Gilbert, DDC president/CEO. “This program provides us with a way to invest in community projects that will make a positive impact on our residents, as well as visitors, and allows us to form partnerships within the community we’ve not had before.”

The projects that were awarded funding in the fifth grant cycle include:

  • The County of Door received $92,850 to support an open-air park pavilion at John Miles County Park that will provide space for music performances, community gatherings and other large events, rain or shine.
  • The Sturgeon Bay School District received $80,000 to support installation of a new ADA-accessible playground with serenity areas at Sunrise School, expanding access to free recreational play for visitors, residents and school children with all physical abilities and neurodiversity.
  • The Friends of Potawatomi State Park received $22,500 to support the installation of an accessible kayak launch that will allow visitors and residents to enjoy Door County from the water regardless of age or physical ability.
  • The Baileys Harbor Björklunden campus of Lawrence University received $6,950 to help create a safer and more inviting visitor experience by installing improved parking lot lighting around the main lodge.

All awarded projects had to meet specific requirements in order to qualify for funding as the dollars DDC uses comes from room tax collections that overnight visitors to the county pay, and that DDC receives as part of its agreement with the Door County Tourism Zone Commission. Wisconsin state statute dictates the use of those dollars.

The four latest projects join the 24 projects that were previously awarded a total of $1,204,952 through the first four grant rounds, bringing the total amount of Community Investment Fund grant awards to $1,407,252 since the program accepting applications in January 2023 for the first round of funding in May of that year.

There are three more grant cycle opportunities happening in 2024, with application deadlines of June 24, Sept. 23 and Dec. 23. Qualified applicants include 501(c)(3) public charities, 501(c)(6) organizations, and local units of government.

Any interested Door County municipality or local non-profit organization is strongly encouraged to schedule a meeting with the Door County Community Foundation to discuss their idea before submitting an application. Call the Community Foundation at 920.746.1786 or email [email protected] to schedule an appointment. For details about the program and to view funding requirements along with the online application, visit