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7 South Dakota organizations will receive Wellmark Foundation Small MATCH grants

September 3, 2020

Des Moines, IA — The Wellmark Foundation has notified 7 South Dakota organizations they will receive Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) grants, contingent upon securing the required 50 percent match amount. The required match may be a combination of in-kind donations or services and cash. To ensure community support for these projects, organizations have until Nov. 6 to secure their match. 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 access to and consumption of nutritious foods.

"The Wellmark Foundation is proud to see all of the outstanding work communities are doing during these challenging times," said Mary Lawyer, The Wellmark Foundation executive director. "These projects will not only provide the groundwork for access to and consumption of nutritious foods but also opportunities for physical activity within their communities — both of which will enhance the quality of life and the overall well-being of citizens for generations to come."

The organizations selected to receive a Wellmark Foundation 2020 Small MATCH grant include:

City of Lennox, $25,000
West Evergreen Park Improvements Project, Lennox
The Lennox Community Park Board has identified a need for additional amenities at West Evergreen Park, as it is the only community green space serving the west side of the community. This grant will help to add two sand volleyball courts, playground equipment for the neighborhood children and a new identification sign.

City of Martin, $25,000
Revitalizing Martin's Basketball Court, Martin

This project seeks to revitalize Martin’s outdoor basketball court which is located in Brooks Memorial Park, Martin's largest city park and the heart of the town. The basketball court is heavily used but it has fallen into disrepair over the years. This project would resurface the court and create a pickleball court.The Martin Wellness Coalition will also install a bike rack to enhance connectivity to safe destinations and active transportation providing another option for users to get to Brooks Memorial Park.

Custer Area Economic Development Corporation, $6,216
Community-School Garden, Custer
This grant will help make gardening accessible and inviting for all Custer community members through the construction of raised gardens. By moving the community garden to the K-12 school campus, the community-school garden will provide new amenities that will widen the scope of users. By providing raised garden beds, perimeter fencing, resting benches and a sun shelter, all community members will be encouraged to use the space to grow healthy fruits and vegetables.

DakotAbilities, $5,000
From Dirt to Dining: Healthy Eating Starts with a Seed, Sioux Falls
This project includes planting 12 community gardens and adding 10 new gardens. The 12 existing gardens are located around Longfellow Center where DakotAbilities provides day services. Each person supported by DakotAbilities who has an interest in gardening is partnered with a neighborhood volunteer mentor. Together they plant, maintain and harvest the gardens. Our registered dietitian will plan meals based on what vegetables are ready for harvest and provide menus and recipes to complete a meal using the vegetables they grew.

Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum, $25,000
Demonstration Kitchen & Garden-to-Table Dining, Sioux Falls
A demonstration kitchen will be built in the lower level of the Judy Jasper Educational Center at the Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum and a new series of courses related to garden-to-table dining will be written and presented. The courses will be written into two parts. One, a season-long series of courses, starting in the Teaching Gardens and ending in the Demonstration Kitchen, for all ages. Two, develop curriculum for elementary school students visiting the Arboretum. The curriculum will adhere to South Dakota educational standards for first, third, and fifth grade.

Tom Pfeifle Memorial, Inc., $13,000
Raider Park Connector Trail, Rapid City
The connector trail, which will provide a safe route to school, is part of a larger project to restore and rehabilitate Raider Park. The project includes an extensive trail system and an outdoor campus for area students. The connector trail will bisect the park, connecting the residential area north of the park to Stevens High School on the south. Students will be able to walk to school through the park and avoid busy roads. The trail system will also include a cross-country trail for running and walking and a single-track biking trail. The outdoor campus will feature a pavilion with solar panels and a green roof that will serve as an outdoor classroom, an arboretum of diverse trees including fruit trees, and areas for scientific study of plants, animals, and environmental conditions.

Veblen Club, $15,000
New Playground, Veblen
This grant will help fund a new playground. The current playground needs to be replaced in order to provide a safe place for children to be physically active.

Since 2011, The Wellmark Foundation has provided more than $11 million in grant funding to communities across Iowa and South Dakota. View previous Wellmark Foundation MATCH grant recipients.