Funding Available for Trails

South Dakota State Parks Director Scott Simpson announced today that applications are being accepted for grants from the Recreation Trails Program (RTP). The grants will be available for trail projects sponsored by municipalities, counties, state parks, federal land management agencies or tribal governments.

“When it comes to promoting healthy communities, recreational trails are key,” Simpson said. “As safe corridors for exercise and recreation, trails give families the opportunity to spend quality time together and enjoy the natural beauty of our state.”

The Recreational Trails Program provides partial reimbursement for approved trail projects. Eligible projects include construction of new public trails, rehabilitation of existing public trails, development of trail-related facilities and educational programs that relate to recreational trails.

The application deadline is Friday, April 17, 2020.

RTP funds come to the state through the Federal Highway Administration and are apportioned to states by Congress to fund both motorized and non-motorized public recreation trail projects. The amount of funds available is based upon the number of recreational vehicles licensed in each state. Application packets are available online at the Game, Fish and Parks website.

Outdoor Recreation Projects Funded

Gov. Kristi Noem has awarded a total of $764,430 in Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grants to several communities. The federal assistance program provides up to 50 percent reimbursement for outdoor recreation projects.

The following communities were awarded LWCF grants for outdoor recreation projects:

  • Aberdeen – Manor Park Pickleball Court Construction, $88,000
  • Britton – Baseball Complex Improvements, $100,000
  • Custer – Herbach Park Master Plan Improvements Phase I, $137,000
  • Emery – Pool Improvements project, $29,430
  • Ipswich – Recreation Complex project, $75,000
  • Menno – Pool Improvements project, $20,000
  • Mitchell – Dry Run Creek Skatepark Expansion, $53,000
  • Plankinton – Poolside Park Improvement project, $73,000
  • Wessington Springs – Pool renovation, $189,000

“I commend these project sponsors for their strong commitment to improve their communities and make South Dakota a better place to live, work and play,” Gov. Noem said. “Their efforts will benefit future generations of South Dakotans.”

Land and Water Conservation Funds come from the National Park Service and are administered in South Dakota by the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

Wildlife Diversity Grant Proposals Accepted

The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks Wildlife Diversity Program is accepting proposals for the Wildlife Diversity Small Grants Program. This program provides funding for researchers, educators and naturalists to carry out projects focused on native wildlife. Funding for the 2020 Small Grants Program totals $20,000 for projects focused on education and outreach for native wildlife species and their habitats. Proposals are due by February 14, 2020. Learn more

Wellmark Grants Announced

The Wellmark Foundation has announced their 2020 MATCH Grant offerings, which focus on the access to and consumption of healthy foods and built environments that encourage physical activity. The Large MATCH Grant cycle is for awards/requests up to $100,000 with applications due Feb 21. The Small MATCH Grant cycle will follow with awards/requests up to $25,000 with applications due in June. Learn more

Association recognizes leadership and commitment through awards

Congratulations to the 2019 SDPRA award winners! These individuals were recognized Wednesday night for their outstanding contribution to parks and recreation in South Dakota.

Years of Service Recipients
  • Years of Service Awards: Steve Papendick, Paul Beckwith, Jon Corey, Becky Graff, Sue Palmer
  • President’s Award of Appreciation: Brandon Brake
  • Distinguished Citizen Award: Karen Olson
  • Individual Citation Award: Mitch Best
  • Young Professional Award: Erin Homes, Rapid City Parks and Recreation
  • Professional Service Award: Emilie Miller, South Dakota State Parks, Pierre
  • Hall of Fame Award: Bob Schneider, South Dakota State Parks, Pierre
  • Hall of Fame Award: Lon Van Deusen, Rapid City Parks and Recreation

Learn how these folks impacted parks and recreation through their leadership, contributions, and commitment.