Winter park

Dakota Resources announced that Wessington Springs Area Chamber & Development was the recipient of one of the two Community Innovation Prizes awarded this year. De Smet Development Corporation was also awarded a Community Innovation Prize. 

“With completely different approaches to innovation these two communities engaged residents of all generations,” stated Kristi Wagner, Dakota Resources Community Coach. Each community will receive $2,500 in community coaching credit from Dakota Resources to engage and enhance local community and economic development efforts. Dakota Resources helps build the capacity of rural communities and organizations through learning networks, long-term community coaching, and capital investments to CDFIs and development corporations. 

Dakota Resources Learning Network hosted their annual awards on Thursday, November 5, 2020, during the virtual Entrepreneur Support System gathering. This year there were three opportunities for recognition of local efforts in community and economic development including the Mentor Award, Elected Official Award, and Community Innovation Prize.  The winners were as follows:

Community Innovation Prize: Wessington Springs Area Chamber & Development Corporation and De Smet Development Corporation

Mentor Award: Anita Holan, Kimball Economic Development

Elected Official: Travis Kuehl, Hartford City Council

The purpose of the Community Innovation Prize is to recognize one innovative approach to empowering a local community while supporting local entrepreneurs, housing solutions, community engagement or leadership development. Innovations may be currently being implemented or implemented within the past 12 months. The award criteria defines innovations as something new. A new method, idea, or approach to solve an old problem or change an old pattern in your community. 

Wessington Springs Project - The Winter Park

The city park in Wessington Springs is equipped with ice skating, sledding, historic field house and even a ski lift. This project has been an opportunity for all generations to bring forth ideas, work together, and innovate new ideas to shape the park, take advantage of its beauty, and also allow local residents to step up and lead the process. 

The Wessington Springs Area Chamber & Development hosted a community conversation engaging students and adults in creating a vision for Winter Park. This vision will be carried out with local volunteers, the city and funding from the SD Community Foundation and other sources. 

“Now and into the future, ‘kids’ of all ages from near and far will be able to enjoy the outdoors at Winter Park — the brisk air, sunlight, snow, and friendship,” said WSACD Director Loree Gaikowski.

Read more about upcoming Winter Park Activities in this issue on PAGE TWO