Spirit Mound Trust announces The Grassland Research Grant Program

Application deadline: 3/1/2022
Awarded by 4/30/2022

The Spirit Mound Trust Grassland Research Grant Program is administered by the Spirit Mound Trust (SMT), a non-profit organization dedicated to the purchase, preservation, and restoration of Spirit Mound Historic Prairie. The SMT has been working to restore Spirit Mound to its original tallgrass prairie conditions and to promote the natural beauty and history of Spirit Mound (Spirit Mound Trust website). The Trust works closely with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks to manage the site.

Grants will be awarded for research involving any topic related to North American grasslands (e.g., flora and fauna, natural history, cultural history). Preference will be given to research focusing on the tallgrass prairie ecosystem, especially if the 320-acre reconstructed prairie at Spirit Mound can be used as one of the study sites. Grants may be awarded to qualified graduate or upper-division undergraduate students majoring in a relevant discipline, qualified non-professional individuals, and college or university faculty. SMT grants are payable up to $1500. Funding will be provided for projects of one-year duration. Funding for a second year of research for the same project will be considered, but a separate application providing justification for the second year of funding is required. SMT invites applications for the 2022 summer field season. Applications must be submitted by email to the SMT Grant Committee at info@spiritmound.org. Deadline for applications is 1 March 2022. The winner will be notified by 30 April 2022.

The application must include the following:
1. The applicant’s name, address, and telephone number, and information about the applicant’s background and qualification for doing the research. This statement is not to exceed 250 words.
2. A title for the proposed project.
3. A statement detailing the purpose(s) and objective(s) of the research: the methods, techniques (including any analytical techniques that may be used), materials needed for the project, and a timeline for meeting project goals. This statement is not to exceed 1200 words.
4. A statement of the amount of funding requested and the specific use of the funds in the project. This statement is not to exceed 600 words.
5. A statement regarding plans for dissemination of the findings of the research at appropriate professional meetings or publication in professional peer-reviewed journals. This statement is not to exceed 250 words.
6. The applicant’s assurance that the grant will be used solely and specifically for the designated research project.

Other requirements: The applicant must arrange for two individuals to send letters of recommendation directly to the SMT Grant Committee at info@spiritmound.org. Letters of recommendation should include an appraisal of the applicant’s qualifications for pursuing the proposed research. The letter should also indicate the significance of the proposed research for advancement of knowledge about North American grasslands and their natural or cultural history. Successful applicants will receive a check for the grant’s authorized amount from the SMT Treasurer on or before 30 April 2022. Successful applicants will be required to submit a 1-page summary report, suitable for general audiences, to the Spirit Mound Trust at the conclusion of the study for inclusion in the SMT annual newsletter and will be expected to give a brief summary presentation at a meeting of the SMT Board of Directors (either in person or virtually).

Funding Available for Trails!

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) announced today that applications are being accepted for grants from the Recreational 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,” said Parks Director, Scott 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 8, 2022.*

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. For more information, contact Grants Coordinator Randy Kittle at 605.773.5490 or by e-mail at randy.kittle@state.sd.us.

Fellowship Offers Training on Walkable Communities

America Walks and AARP South Dakota are looking for walkable community advocates who are interested in honing their skills and developing a statewide network of peers and mentors. If you are working to increase walking and improve pedestrian safety in your community, consider applying for a Fellowship with the South Dakota State Walking College. Fellowships are limited and the application process is competitive. Application deadline is 9 p.m. CT April 30. Learn more