The Wellmark Foundation has notified 28 organizations in Iowa and South Dakota that they will receive Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) grant funds, contingent upon securing the required dollar-for-dollar match. To ensure community support for these projects, organizations have until Aug. 17 to secure their matching funds. Each of these grantees are planning projects that can help individuals, families and communities achieve better health through built environment initiatives that encourage physical activity or provide access to healthy foods.
“Each project included here has the potential to make a positive, long-term impact on the overall health and well-being of their community which will enhance the quality of life for generations to come,” said Mary Lawyer, executive director for The Wellmark Foundation. “We’re excited to see the planning, focus and community engagement within each of the selected applications.”
The organizations and projects selected to receive a 2022 MATCH Grant include:
- Black Hills Works, Inc., $100,000
Rapid City Bocce Ball Courts (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Bocce Ball has become one of the most popular sports with Special Olympics athletes. The Rapid City Special Olympics youth team and the Rapid City Parks and Recreation department have partnered to help build 12 new Bocce Ball Courts — including two that will be ADA-accessible. The courts will add to the wide array of activities available nearby, including the city swimming pool, soccer and baseball fields, horseshoe courts, bike path and children’s park.
- Carroll County Conservation Board, $100,000
Sauk Rail Trail Resurfacing – Swan Lake to Maple River (Carroll, Iowa)
A beautiful 33-mile trail system connecting Swan Lake State Park and Black Hawk State Park, the Sauk Rail Trail provides an excellent place for biking, walking, jogging and in-line skating and is open for snowmobiling and cross-county skiing during the winter, and portions of the trail are open for hunting during the appropriate seasons. The Sauk Rail Trail resurfacing project will update 6.2 miles of existing aging asphalt trail to concrete, providing a safer experience for trail users.
- Casey Service Club, Inc., $100,000
Abram Rutt Park Trail (Casey, Iowa)
The Abram Rutt Park Trail will be a paved walking and biking path that follows the perimeter of Abram Rutt Park. The trail will be graded to protect the path from any potential flooding, and benches will be added along the trail for people to stop, relax and enjoy the scenery.
- Cherokee Community Foundation, $75,000
Cherokee Skate/BMX/Scooter Park (Cherokee, Iowa)
The Cherokee Skate, BMX and Scooter park will be added directly next to the recently completed Magnetic Park, a 50-acre natural area with a pond, trail and parking. In addition to areas for more experienced skateboarders, BMX riders and scooter riders, the space will provide options for less-experienced users and will be inclusive for all ages.
- City of Afton, $65,000
Trail Extension to Rec Complex (Afton, Iowa)
This trail extension project will create a multi-purpose trail along the county road connecting the city to the school, trails and sidewalks in existing residential areas where safe off-street walkways currently do not exist. The project will also connect existing trails and sidewalk systems at Scott and Temple streets to East Union Schools and the community sports complex.
- City of Brookings, $75,000
Pickleball Complex (Brookings, South Dakota)
The Pickleball Complex will include the construction of eight courts in Hillcrest Park, located just south of South Dakota State University. The courts will include lighting, fencing, gate access, wind screens and pickleball post-net systems, as well as additional amenities such as an accesible path, shelter house and drinking fountains.
- City of Burlington, $100,000
Dankwardt Park Playground Project (Burlington, Iowa)
The Dankwardt Park playground project will replace outdated and deteriorating equipment with a new, accessible and inclusive large-scale playground. The playground will include an accessible rubber surfrace to provide easy access to play. The site will also be upgraded to include accessible parking and sidewalk connections, as well as refurbished restrooms, seating, lighting, bike racks, drinking fountains and signage.
- City of Donnellson, $85,000
Westview Park Trail – Phase I (Donnellson, Iowa)
Phase I of the project includes the construction of a new 10-foot wide multi-use trail in the northwest quadrant of 28-acre Westview Park in Donnellson. The trail will be surfaced with limestone chips and will connect to an existing trail and end at Westview Park’s parking lot near the shelter house, ballpark and concession stand.
- City of Laurens, $100,000
The Laurens Pool Project (Laurens, Iowa)
Serving the community since 1956, the Earl Mackie Memorial Swimming Pool is in need of replacement. The Laurens pool project will create a new pool at a city park, which will include zero-depth entry, water features, lap lanes, a diving tower and will be accessible for all to enjoy. The facility will also have an energy-efficient bath house and concessions stand.
- City of Lenox, $100,000
Recreational Trail Extension — Phase I & II (Lenox, Iowa)
As part of a two-phased project, phase I of the recreational trail extension project will extend existing trails and add connectors between the Lenox School District and newly developed athletic courts, encouraging safe walking and biking for students and families. Phase II will further extend the trail, add safe crossings and signage.
- City of Marcus, $100,000
Marcus Trail Plan — Phase I (Marcus, Iowa)
Phase I of the Marcus Trail plan includes creation of a 1.4 mile trail extending from City Park through portions of residential neighborhoods, connecting to the school and a golf course. Trail improvements will make it safer for children to walk and bike to school and park facilities.
- City of Mission, $100,000
Renovate, Repair and Reopen the Mission City Swimming Pool (Mission, South Dakota)
The Kimmel Park swimming pool in Mission, South Dakota, is the only municipal pool in Todd County, the home of 11 tribal communities and more than 10,000 residents. The Renovate, Repair and Reopen the Mission City Swimming Pool project will make the necessary updates and enhancements to reopen the 150-person capacity pool later this year.
- City of Parkston, $100,000
Papa’s Park (Parkston, South Dakota)
Papa’s Park will be a brand new public space created in southwest Parkston, South Dakota. Designed for all ages, the park will include equipment for unstructured play, as well as a basketball court, free-play hill, sidewalks, trees, landscaping, benches, shelter house, water fountain and bathrooms.
- City of Sioux City, $100,000
Cone Mountain Bike Park (Sioux City, Iowa)
The Cone Mountain Bike Park will consist of nine miles of single track tails, including adaptive biking trails, rock elements, bridges, boardwalks, skinnies, wall rides and progressive jumps for beginners and advanced bikers. A Pump Track will allow for continuous riding with pedaling, and a Tot Track will be for small children and beginners.
- City of West Burlington, $100,000
Gear Avenue Trail Expansion — Phase II (West Burlington, Iowa)
Phase II of the Gear Avenue Trail expansion will extend the Greater Burlington Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan by an additional 3,100 feet. The expansion will begin at the Southeastern Community College Campus and will include a reconfigured bridge over US Highway 34 to create a safer sidewalk, as well as improved crossing areas at Gear Avenue.
- City of Winterset, $100,000
Winterset All-Inclusive Playground (Winterset, Iowa)
The Winterset all-inclusive playground project will create a play space that encourages play and activities for all abilities. The creation of an all-inclusive playground within the 76-acre Winterset City Park will include ramps, a merry-go-round, zipline, safety surfacing, adaptive switch technology, swings, proper draining, safe curbing and sidewalks all around.
- Davis County Trails Council, $100,000
Davis County Trail System – Phase 4A (Bloomfield, Iowa)
Phase 4A of the Davis County Trail System is an expansion project to travel around two local ponds, through a timber area, and around the ball fields to a new sports complex. This portion of the trail will cover 3,000 linear feet and will eventually connect to Lake Fisher as part of an additional planned trail expansion.
- Friends of Eldora Parks and Recreation, $42,650
Park Street Corridor Improvement Project (Eldora, Iowa)
The Park Street Corridor Improvement Project will improve three public spaces in Eldora. An 18-hole disc golf course will be constructed in Memorial Park and will include a connection to the River’s Edge Trail. To increase the growing season and further create access to healthy foods, a greenhouse will be added to the community garden area. Finally, a nature-based play structure will be added to the Children's Sensory Garden, including a treehouse-style play deck, slide, climbing structure and swings.
- Friends of Lacey–Keosauqua State Park, $100,000
Campground to Bath House Trail (Keosauqua, Iowa)
Dedicated in 1920 as Iowa’s second state park, Lacey-Keosauqua State Park spans 1,653 acres and offers ample opportunity for fishing, hiking, camping and swimming. The campground to bath house trail project will create 1,861 feet of new walking and biking trail separate from the park’s main road to enable bikers, hikers and walkers a safe route for recreation.
- Herreid Area Housing Development, Inc., $100,000
Pool Improvement Project (Herreid, South Dakota)
The municipal pool project will help upgrade and improve Herreid’s almost 60 year old public swimming pool. Enhancements to the pool will include a new diving board and slides, updates to the heater and mechanic room, a new pool deck, an ADA bathhouse, ADA parking and public restrooms for patrons using the park adjacent to the pool.
- Jasper County Conservation, $100,000
Red Rock Prairie Trail (Mitchellville, Monroe and Prairie City, Iowa)
The Red Rock Prairie Trail corridor exists on an old rail bed and will eventually link with the Volksweg Trail from Pella/Red Rock to Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge to Mitchellville and eventually to Des Moines. This phase of the project will develop seven miles of bike and pedestrian improvements to complete the 16.35 mile trail and connect to the Plainsman Trail, Red Rock Prairie Trail, and the Wildlife Refuge Trail system.
- Lake View Foundation, $49,866
Pickleball Courts (Lake View, Iowa)
Today, Lake View residents have to travel to a neighboring town to play pickleball because they have no courts of their own. That will all change with this project focused on building two courts on a piece of city-owned property. These courts will be fenced in and include benches and shaded areas, serving as an attraction for the local community and visitors alike.
- Nahant Marsh Education Center, $100,000
Nahant Marsh Connector Trail Project (Davenport, Iowa)
The first phase of a larger project, the Nahant Marsh Connector trail project will connect the Mississippi River Trail/American Discovery Trail to Nahant Marsh and southwest Davenport neighborhoods. Facilitating physical activity by providing improved access to hiking and biking, especially for those who live in or visit southwest Davenport, the project will allow for the future development of a six mile trail network around Nahant Marsh preserve.
- Polk County Conservation, $100,000
Easter Lake North Shore Capital Campaign (Des Moines, Iowa)
This project will upgrade the north shore of Easter Lake, located on the south side of Des Moines. The grant funds received for the Easter Lake North Shore Capital Campaign will be used to make the area more inclusive, specifically through the creation of an accessible beach walkway to help provide water access to individuals of all ages and abilities.
- Sioux Falls Skatepark Association, $100,000
Sioux Falls Skatepark (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
Constructed at Nelson Park near downtown Sioux Falls, the state-of-the-art 22,000 square foot skate park will include three-tiered bowls, quarter pipes, ramps rails and ledge for a variety of skill levels. The park will be accessible for all and will be free and open daily to the public.
- The Cedar Falls Schools Foundation, $100,000
Community Natatorium (Cedar Falls, Iowa)
The Community Natatorium in Cedar Falls will include two separate pools, one with 10 lanes for deep water competition and recreation, and another shallower pool with four lanes to use for teaching and therapeutic programming. An independent entrance will provide the public with access throughout the school day, further expanding programming by 70 hours a week.
- WesleyLife Community Services, Inc., $100,000
So Much More than Meals Capital Campaign (Des Moines, Iowa)
Today, Meals on Wheels serves more than 1,000 meals per day from a kitchen in an aging building in need of structural work. The So Much More Than Meals Capital Campaign will help acquire and renovate a new building with a commercial kitchen that can accommodate preparation of 3,000 meals a day. The new space will feature an indoor vertical garden for food production.
- YMCA of Washington County, $100,000
Indoor Aquatic Center Project (Washington, Iowa)
The YMCA of Washington County has maintained an indoor public pool for more than 97 years. In an effort to ensure community members of all ages continue to have access to the benefits of aquatic exercise and provide year-round wellness benefits, a new aquatic center with a 3,500 square foot, 6-lane lap pool, a 1,700 square foot recreational pool, whirlpool, sauna and spectator seating for water sports events will be constructed.
“The Wellmark Foundation recognizes sustainable changes take time and we are pleased to continue to offer these grant opportunities to support the overall health and well-being of local communities,” said Lawyer. “Recently, we have better aligned the grant focus and awards to encourage even more communities to get involved and take advantage of support from The Wellmark Foundation and upcoming improvements will allow for a more defined focus on physical activity and healthy foods.”
Since its inception in 1991, The Wellmark Foundation has awarded nearly $58 million in grant and project funding to initiatives that positively impact the well-being of Iowans and South Dakotans.