skating pond - web

Local children and adults are pictured at the skating pond during a recent “Winter Park Day” held at the city park in Wessington Springs. The Wessington Springs Area Chamber & Development was recently awarded $10,000 for its work in helping develop winter exercise opportunities. The funds will be used to further develop the winter park activities.  

Round three of the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) 2019 Community Innovation Grant (CIG) program has been completed with seventeen South Dakota nonprofit organizations slated to receive grant awards. Offered in partnership with the Bush Foundation, the Community Innovation Grant program supports efforts to find breakthrough solutions to community challenges across the state.

The Wessington Springs Area Chamber & Development (WSACD) was awarded $10,000 for its work in helping address the shortage of winter exercise opportunities for residents in Jerauld County through “Winter Park Days,” organized last winter by members of the community. A plan is in place to make this activity permanently available through focus discussion groups, along with community workdays to prepare outdoor spaces. Volunteers will be secured to help with all required tasks.

WSACD director Loree Gaikowski said that the funds will be utilized for two main objectives: an engineering study on the ice skating pond to help alleviate water issues and create consistency on the ice; and to create opportunities that engage the community and solicit input about future growth of “Winter Park Days” through public meetings scheduled for late February 2020. Gaikowski said that WSACD will continue to work closely with the City of Wessington Springs on winter park promotions and planning. More details about upcoming community meetings will be published in the True Dakotan. 

“The South Dakota Community Foundation received 34 applications in round three and selected these 17 nonprofits to implement inclusive, collaborative and resourceful solutions that will benefit all our state’s citizens,” says Ginger Niemann, SDCF Senior Program Officer. “Round three resulted in $165,000 distributed among the selected grantees. We are grateful to the Bush Foundation for their past and continued investment in our state.”