Eight Western South Dakota… | South Dakota Community Foundation

Eight Western South Dakota Nonprofits Awarded Nearly $120,000

June 7, 2022 // Community Innovation Grants, South Dakota Fund Grants

We are pleased to partner with these eight nonprofit organizations and look forward to the groundbreaking work they are doing.

Ginger Niemann, Senior Program Officer, SDCF

Eight western nonprofit organizations will share $119,750 in grants provided through the South Dakota Community Foundation.

Black Hills Playhouse, Ecotone Foundation, Inc., West Dakota Regional Water and Youth & Family Services, Inc. (YFS) were all successful applicants in Round 2, 2021 Community Innovation Grant awards from the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF). Community Innovation Grants were offered in partnership with the Bush Foundation and focused specifically on supporting community problem-solving projects. Forty-eight applications were submitted in Round 2 and eleven resulted in securing funding.

In addition, Black Hills Works, High Plains Western Heritage Center in Spearfish, the Kadoka Buffalo Stampede, and Sanford Underground Research Facility Foundation were recipients of South Dakota Fund grant awards.

The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) is proud to partner with these four organizations through our Community Innovation Grant program and provide support for their projects:

  • Black Hills Playhouse (statewide): $20,000

The Black Hills Playhouse partnered with Rosebud Elementary to create online curriculum based on the Oceti Sakowin Core Concepts-Essential Understandings and Standards (OSEU). This resulted in the creation of the Oceti Sakowin & Dakota Players Theatre Experience. Artists will work with schools in combination with teacher training for students in 3rd through 5th grades.

“The Black Hills Playhouse is working to increase opportunities for people across South Dakota to get access to theatre and to use theatre to bridge cultures”, stated Linda Anderson, Executive Director, Black Hills Playhouse. “Funding from the SDCF will help us do the work across the state through the Oceti Sakowin + Dakota Players Theatre Experience alongside Indigenous partners.”

  • Ecotone Foundation, Inc. (Spearfish): $19,750

Ecotone Foundation was founded in 2016 and is organized to develop and provide education, research, and community programs around local food, specialty crops and natural building. They will hold community meetings throughout the next 18 months and start a conversation with farmers, ranchers, and like-minded supporters around the topic of Agritourism to better offer local food, local stay and local experiences to tourists visiting the regions.

“This grant will make possible a community conversation around agritourism in the Black Hills as an opportunity to showcase the agricultural and ranching heritage of the region; and support the families who have been the backbone of our communities for the last 150 years”, declared Dr. Rachel Headley, founder, Ecotone Foundation.

  • West Dakota Regional Water (western South Dakota): $20,000

Before the recent renewal of their Future Use Water Permit from the Missouri River, the West Dakota Water Development District commissioned the South Dakota School of Mines to study the need for additional water supply in western Pennington County. The conclusion of the study was “a strong need for new sources of water within the study area”. Preliminary work is already underway, and this grant will lend support to those efforts.

"Water use in western South Dakota is already at levels where, if we have years of prolonged drought, we will have water shortages”, said Dr. Cheryl Chapman, consultant, Western Dakota Regional Water System. “If our population continues to grow at a rapid rate, we will quickly outpace the capacity of our water supply even in years of average precipitation. Building a waterline from the Missouri River is a crucial step to ensure future water security for western South Dakota”.

  • Youth & Family Services, Inc. (Rapid City): $20,000

In a concerted effort to reach underperforming adolescents in school, members of the Rapid City Alliance for Early Adolescence representing out-of-school time service providers and Rapid City Area Schools began investigating social emotional learning and aligning curriculum between the schools and out-of-school time providers. This grant award will support broadening understanding of social emotional learning among all middle school youth service providers in Rapid City.

"The Rapid City Alliance was formed to address the needs of middle school youth through a focus on social emotional learning and discussions to clarify and align program efforts between Out-of-School-Time (OST) providers and Rapid City Area Schools (RCAS)”, said David Miller, YFS Chief Program Officer. “Approaches are currently focused on building a learning community to better understand applied educational neuroscience, address student needs through social emotional learning, develop a network and referral process to avoid duplication of services, and align OST programming with RCAS to best meet the needs of the middle school population".

The Community Innovation Grant program ended in 2021. New in 2022 and opening later this year to eligible nonprofits will be the Community-based Grants program, which is also supported by the Bush Foundation. Watch our website at www.sdcommunityfoundation.org/grants for more details to come.

The South Dakota Fund makes grants in support of culture, economic development, education, financial literacy, health, and human services. South Dakota Fund grants provided support for:

  • Black Hills Works (Rapid City): $10,000

Black Hills Works (BHW) has supported people with disabilities in Rapid City for 64 years. They serve over 600 individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities, mental illness, dual diagnoses, and brain injuries. The South Dakota Community Foundation presented BHW with a $10,000 South Dakota Fund grant to support upgrades for their transportation efforts and improve its operational efficiency.

“Transportation is what connects us to our lives”, said Tamie Hopp, Director of Philanthropy, Black Hills Works. “The SDCF grant in support of TripMaster software, will help hundreds of people with disabilities be connected to our community as neighbors, friends, employees, volunteers, and consumers. The generous support of the South Dakota Community Foundation will make such a positive difference in the lives of those we support. Thank you, South Dakota Community Foundation.”

  • High Plains Western Heritage Center (Spearfish): $10,000

Located in Spearfish, South Dakota, the High Plains Heritage Society is a museum and venue representing a 5-State region including South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Nebraska. The South Dakota Community Foundation awarded the Society with a $10,000 South Dakota Fund grant to assist with program costs.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the South Dakota Community Foundation making this grant possible for us”, stated Karla Scovell, Executive Director, High Plains Western Heritage Center. “This generous grant will provide us with a much-needed leap forward.”

  • Kadoka Buffalo Stampede (Kadoka): $10,000

The Kadoka Buffalo Stampede Rodeo Arena has been providing public use for the last five years for a variety of youth and adult groups and has hosted the PRCA rodeo for the past two years. A $10,000 South Dakota Fund grant will be used to make much needed upgrades to lighting and electric wiring at the Arena.

“The Jackson-Kadoka Economic Development Corporation and the Kadoka Buffalo Stampede express their sincere appreciation to the South Dakota Community Foundation for the $10,000 South Dakota Fund grant award”, said Eileen Stolley, board member, Jackson-Kadoka Economic Development Corporation. “The new replacement lighting will be a much-needed improvement to the Buffalo Stampede Arena and will be enjoyed by contestants and spectators alike for many years to come at the many events hosted by the Arena.”

  • Sanford Underground Research Facility Foundation (Lead): $10,000

Lead, South Dakota is the home to the Sanford Underground Research Facility. Established in 2019, its mission is to support the advancement of world class science and inspire learning across the generations. The South Dakota Community Foundation awarded the Foundation a $10,000 South Dakota Fund grant to provide support for The Sacred Circle Garden. This is an ethnobotanical garden that honors nature and Native American heritage.

“The Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) Foundation would like to thank the South Dakota Community Foundation for their generous donation towards the development of the Sacred Circle Garden”, declared Staci Miller, Foundation Director. “We are excited to partner with the South Dakota Community Foundation in making this amazing project a reality. The Sacred Circle Garden will feature a Lakota Medicine Wheel, native plants of the Black Hills and will offer a space for learning across generations, connecting our communities and cultivating cultural awareness.”

If your organization is interested in the South Dakota Fund grant program and would like more information about it, please visit our website at www.southdakotacommunityfoundation.org/grants.

“We are pleased to partner with these eight nonprofit organizations and look forward to the groundbreaking work they are doing”, said Ginger Niemann, Senior Program Officer, SDCF. “We are proud to play a small role in their work”.

About the SDCF

SDCF is a public non-profit organization established in 1987. SDCF, with offices in Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen administers over 1,100 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed nearly $18 million in grants in 2021 which made a tremendous difference in communities statewide. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors. If you have a specific cause you would like to support or would prefer to give for the general good of our state, please visit https://sdcommunityfoundation.org/giving to learn more or call 1-800-888-1842.

About the Bush Foundation

The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them. Established in 1953 by 3M Executive Archibald Bush and his wife Edyth, the Foundation encourages individuals and organizations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area.