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Celebrating community health achievements in South Dakota

Plus, how you can get involved

The COVID-19 pandemic may have sidelined a lot of things in 2020, but it didn’t stop the community health initiatives in these South Dakota towns.

Healthy HometownSM Powered by Wellmark Opens New Window works with communities, at no cost, to identify ways to make the healthy choice the easy choice and improve the areas where residents live, work and play. And, on Oct. 12, 2021, during the Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion Annual Partners Meeting External Site, these South Dakota communities will be recognized virtually for the progress they made last year.

2021 Healthy Hometown Powered by Wellmark Award Nominees


  • Created Malchow Plaza for visitors, community events and office space for local nonprofits
  • Installed a public art mural at Malchow Plaza
  • Added a high-visibility, solar-powered LED crosswalk at a school zone
  • Enhanced the crosswalk for hospital employees, including additional signage, LED blinker stop signs and high-visibility in-road crosswalk and stop bars

Clear Lake

  • Installed six new, easily accessible water bottle filling stations at Deuel School
  • Completed the “Greetings from Clear Lake” mural project, which helps promote public art in the community
  • Added healthy food and beverage options at the Deuel School concession stands


  • Implemented a Safe Routes to School initiative
  • Added bike racks around town and directional signs along the Mickelson Trail
  • Improved the healthy food donation box that supports the local food bank


  • Installed enhanced pedestrian crossings, made all curb ramps Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, and added bike parking
  • Completed more than six miles of new and improved trails throughout the community
  • Moved the community garden across from the elementary school, and created a donation area for produce, installed a picnic table and donated space for nutrition and gardening classes


  • Implemented traffic-calming measures to increase student safety, like new sidewalks, bike lanes, and bicycle parking
  • Moved the community garden to a larger location, and built a shed to hold equipment
  • Replaced or improved all streetlights on Main St to enhance pedestrian safety
  • Built a new elementary school playground and pickleball court, and worked with the city to allow students to use the Unity Fitness Center gym


  • Improved the local skate park
  • Started a physical activity program that gives patients discounts to the Mitchell Recreation Center and six free weeks of personal training when referred by their health care provider
  • Implemented a referral program for diabetics and pre-diabetics to participate in the National Diabetes Prevention Program

Rapid City

  • Established a community garden with raised beds for those who require easier access
  • Updated the Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan to ensure widespread access and installed a quarter mile of sidewalk
  • Started the Black Hills Farmers’ Market Wholesale Market, where Feeding South Dakota and Youth and Family Services could purchase fresh produce for families in need, and increased Double Up Food Bucks to spend on produce at the farmers’ market


  • Established a community garden with raised beds for those who require easier access and started a garden club
  • Created a free bike share program that includes a variety of kid's, men’s and women’s bikes
  • Volunteers prepared and delivered meals to school children during the summer months

Rosebud Reservation

  • Expanded the mobile market to better deliver fresh fruits, vegetables, and more to tribal members, and launched a food prescription program
  • Improved bike parking and playground flooring at the local boys and girls club, and refurbished the waterfront at Eagle Feather Lake
  • Held a walking audit
  • Opened a second skate park

Get started in your own community today

Inspired by these finalists' success? Learn how Healthy Hometown can help your community eat well, move more and feel better. Check out Healthy Hometown online Opens New Window or email Send Email for more information.