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Six South Dakota organizations will receive Wellmark Foundation Small MATCH grants

The Wellmark Foundation has notified six South Dakota organizations they will receive Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) grants. The grantees are planning projects that can help individuals, families and communities achieve better health through built environment initiatives that encourage physical activity or access to nutritious foods.

"The Wellmark Foundation Small MATCH grant winners are truly being creative in how each is promoting health in their communities," said Mary Lawyer, The Wellmark Foundation executive director. "From revitalized parks and playgrounds to food pantries and greenhouses, these projects will impact the quality of life and the overall well-being of South Dakotans for generations to come."

In total Wellmark Foundation is investing $135,780 into South Dakota communities through the 2021 Small MATCH grant program. To ensure community support for these projects, final funding is contingent upon organizations securing 50 percent of the grant award. The required match may be a combination of in-kind donations or services and cash. Organizations have until Nov. 3 to secure their matching funds.

The organizations selected to receive a Wellmark Foundation 2021 Small MATCH grant include:

City of Canistota, $20,873
Pickleball Courts
After being approached by pickleball enthusiasts in the community including the Canistota Pickleball Group and other players, the City Council resolved to replace the existing tennis courts with new pickleball courts. Grant funds will be used to fund the new courts which will include a new concrete base with game lines, pickleball nets and ground sleeves, fencing and lighting.

City of Chamberlain, $25,000
Chamberlain Dinosaur Park
The city is using its Small MATCH funds to add a dinosaur fossil playground to the existing park. This will allow children to balance, hop, jump, run and play with the interactive equipment, while learning about the history behind the monstrous bones and prehistoric creatures.

City of Willow Lake, $25,000
Improving the Playground at Veterans Memorial Park
Willow Lake's "Patriotic Play" project will replace old playground equipment in the city's Veterans Memorial Park. The new commercial-grade equipment and play surface is designed for safety, accessibility, durability, and ease of maintenance. Once complete, the remaining length of the park will then be freed up for other outdoor activities such as playing catch, bean bags, or tag.

Clark County, $25,000
Clark County Activity Center
The new Clark County Activity Center will serve youth and adults of all ages from across the entire community. It includes a large space for youth wrestling, gymnastics, dance, basketball, and taekwondo — activities currently offered in Clark but lack adequate space. The building is also designed with a walking track around its indoor perimeter, providing a safe, nonslip surface for those who want to walk indoors for exercise.

Edmunds Central School District, $24,907
Ag Innovation Lab
Funds will be used to construct an Ag Innovation Lab that will include a 18' x 36' greenhouse and the equipment and materials needed to grow fresh fruit and vegetables using growing benches, environmentally controlled growth tents, hydroponics, and aquaponics. The lab will be utilized throughout the school year for horticulture course work and food science investigations, as well as simply growing produce for the school's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program, school lunches and snacks, and other student and community needs.

Mercy Housing Midwest, $15,000
Rapid City Resident Food Growth and Safety Initiative
This project will launch the Food Growth and Safety Initiative at Mercy Housing Midwest Rapid City properties, providing 270 residents access to on-site food pantries, a community garden, and associated food safety and culinary educational opportunities. While the project will be launched on-site, programming is available to residents and the surrounding community and will include three major components: Food Access, a Community Health and Safety Council, and Food Safety and Culinary Education.

Since 1991, The Wellmark Foundation has provided more than $36.6 million in grant funding to communities across Iowa and South Dakota. View previous Wellmark Foundation MATCH grant recipients.