A Bountiful Harvest

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Fort Pierre Gardens check presentation

The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) presented a $5,000 South Dakota Fund grant to the Fort Pierre Community Garden prior to reprioritization of requests dealing specifically with the Coronavirus.  This project came to fruition through collaboration with many partners including AARP’s Community Challenge Grant program, the Healthy Hometown Community Award, the Pierre/Fort Pierre Community Foundation, Fort Pierre Development Corporation, City of Fort Pierre and the US Army Corps of Engineers along with various local sponsors.

“The Community Garden is a prime example of what happens when a community collaborates”, said Fort Pierre Mayor Gloria Hanson. “I can’t think of any organization or individual who declined to help in some way. Major sponsors, such as the South Dakota Community Foundation, made the project possible. The City of Fort Pierre was able to convert a blighted, non-productive property into an attractive, green oasis that promotes healthy living for all our residents.”

The Fort Pierre Community Garden project was launched in 2018 after a meeting of the “Healthy Hometown” initiative, with technical assistance provided by Wellmark. It is located on a vacant lot owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers, purchased for flood mitigation (special usage authorization granted). It features 24 raised beds, which provide handicapped accessibility. All beds are rented and are complete with water and lighting. A chain link fence, three fruit trees and wood chip ground cover completed 2019 improvements. The final touch, a handicap-accessible picnic table with umbrella, was added to the garden this spring. There are three beds that are not rented, One bed is reserved for the Stanley County GOLD program (before/after school) to teach area youth to garden and two beds are reserved to grow produce to supplement the Senior Nutrition Program, which offers noon meals to Pierre and Fort Pierre seniors.

 “The South Dakota Community Foundation is proud to partner with the Fort Pierre Community Garden project as they promote healthy food production”, said Ginger Niemann, SDCF Senior Program Officer. “The raised beds have had an added benefit of encouraging different generations to enjoy time outdoors while gardening together.”  

In the past, the South Dakota Fund grants focused on culture, economic development, education, health and human services programs. Due to rapidly changing circumstances, grantmaking efforts have been reprioritized to focus on requests dealing with the Coronavirus, and its impact on nonprofit organizations and those that they serve. Interested applicants can learn more by visiting https://sdcommunityfoundation.org/for-nonprofits/sd-fund-grants/

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 980 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed nearly $18 million in grants in 2019 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/for-donors/ to learn more or call      1-800-888-1842.