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The Wellmark Foundation awards more than $144,000 in Small MATCH grants

November 13, 2018

Des Moines, IA — The Wellmark Foundation has awarded seven South Dakota organizations Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) grants. Applicants were able to request up to $25,000 in grant funding. To ensure community support for the grant projects, recipients were challenged to match this grant at 50 percent. Each of the grant recipients submitted projects that will help individuals, families and communities achieve better health through built environment initiatives that encourage physical activity and/or access to and consumption of nutritious foods.

"The Wellmark Foundation is proud to support organizations that have identified sustainable initiatives that provide opportunities for citizens to improve their overall well-being," said Becky Wampler Bland, The Wellmark Foundation executive director. "The longevity of these projects will continue to pay dividends years after the initial investment."

The seven South Dakota organizations that were selected to receive a 2018 Small MATCH grant from The Wellmark Foundation include:

Beadle and Spink Enterprise Community, Inc., $25,000
Doland Park revitalization
This project will modernize, refurbish and rehabilitate Doland City Park. The project will occur in two phases. The first phase includes re-configuring and refinishing the tennis and basketball courts, adding a new splash pad and a public restroom. The second phase will include a new playground, horseshoe pit and life-size checkerboard for all community members to enjoy.

City of Plankinton, $24,000
Westside Park playground improvements
This project will replace the 40-year old, outdated playground equipment in Westside Park with new, ADA compliant playground equipment. By updating Westside Park with new playground equipment, the city of Plankinton will be able to offer better outdoor recreational opportunities for its youngest residents and their family members.

City of Sturgis, $9,937
Community garden expansion
The city of Sturgis has two well-established community gardens that are used to their full capacity every year by its residents. The popularity of the raised beds at the second garden has confirmed the need for adding raised beds to the original community garden. This expansion project will include installing new raised beds and an irrigation system, as well as fencing around the entire area.

City of Wagner, $11,000
Wagner disc golf park
The city of Wagner will be creating a new disc golf course within a well-established park. The course will be accessible to all residents. It will provide an excellent opportunity for people of all ages to participate in the sport of disc golf.

City of Webster, $25,000
Webster Active Living Trail
During a community design event in 2014, a group of local volunteer leaders recognized the need for a trail system in and around the Webster community to provide safe areas to walk, bike, run and use wheelchairs and scooters. This project will create a 10-foot-wide, asphalt trail for residents of all ages and abilities to use year-round.

Feeding South Dakota, $25,000
With the addition of a new cleanroom, Feeding South Dakota will be able to safely break down bulk donations of food into smaller, family-friendly consumable portions.

Rural America Initiatives, $25,000
Healthy food
This project will develop infrastructure on the grounds of Rural America Initiatives’ new campus to support the incorporation of gardens into the landscape of the eight-acre grounds. Staff will use these areas as outdoor classrooms to help children and their families develop new skills and attitudes around healthy foods as well as an opportunity to increase access to fresh vegetables.

Since 2011, The Wellmark Foundation has provided more than $9 million in grant funding to communities across Iowa and South Dakota. The 2019 grant opportunities will be posted in late December.