Award nomination deadline nears

The deadline for nominations for the association’s awards is Sept. 7. The awards recognize greatness in our field and will take place at the annual conference this fall in Brookings. Chances are you know someone doing awesome things for parks and recreation. Nominate them today! Even if the person you wanted to nominate before wasn’t eligible in the past, take another look. The guidelines have recently changed, opening eligibility up to even more of our members.

Outdoor Recreation Grants Available

Applications are now being accepted for grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Public outdoor recreation projects sponsored by city, county, township and tribal governments are eligible to receive the grant money. The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides up to 50 percent reimbursement for approved outdoor recreation projects. Grants will be awarded for development or renovation of public outdoor recreation facilities or the acquisition of park land. The grants will be awarded for a minimum of $10,000 and the maximum will be $75,000 in federal funds.

The application deadline is October 31, 2018. LWCF funds are federal dollars that are apportioned to states by Congress to fund public outdoor recreation projects. Application packets are available on the Game, Fish and Parks website.

SDPRA scholarship applications now open

Applications are now open for the 2018 SDPRA scholarships. The program promotes and supports excellence in the field of parks and recreation by providing financial assistance for both undergraduate and graduate students majoring in a South Dakota college and university with parks and recreation emphasis. Two $2,000 scholarships will be awarded following an application review process. The application deadline is Aug. 31. Read more…

Applications for Watershed Education Fellowship Open

The South Dakota Discovery Center announces they are seeking applicants for the Watershed Education Fellowship. This Fellowship will provide training and support to people who want to develop or improve their knowledge, skills and abilities in teaching K-12 learners about water and watersheds.

Fellowship coordinator Anne Lewis says the Fellowship is targeted to people who may have water education as part of their job or volunteer position but have little to no formal training. Fellows will attend an intensive two and a half day training at the end of November to learn how to effectively teach about water. People interested in applying should go to for more information.

Wellmark Foundation community health grant applications due June 8

The Wellmark Foundation is now accepting applications for its small Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) grants. The small MATCH grants are for up to $25,000 and must be matched at 50 percent. These grants support promising projects that can help individuals, families and communities achieve better health.

Examples of sustainable grants — projects that continue after The Wellmark Foundation grant funding ends — include:

  • Promoting trail development — regional trail-planning efforts, promoting pedestrian, bicycle, or trail master plans and actual trail construction
  • Providing safe, accessible venues for physical activity in a community
  • Advancing active transportation concepts — Safe Routes to School projects, walking school busses, community walking audits and adding bicycle parking
  • Improving access to locally sourced foods — establishing or improving infrastructure of farmers’ markets and establishing or improving community gardens

Applications for the small MATCH grants are available online and must be submitted by midnight on June 8. To view previous Wellmark Foundation MATCH grant recipients, visit