PARKS & WILDLIFE FOUNDATION
523 East Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501-3182
The South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation was chartered by five private citizens in 1985 to support wildlife enhancement and park development activities for the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Ten additional members were appointed by the Governor to fill out the balance of the Board membership. Replacements for Board members are nominated and appointed by the Board for three-year terms.
The Foundation has ongoing responsibilities to manage its assets, including the land and conservation easements it retains. Other aspects of Foundation work involve planning and fundraising for projects that conserve or improve the State's natural resources. Some examples of past projects and activities include:
The Foundation facilitated donation of 1500 acres of land along the Missouri River from two individuals to the Department and Foundation. The land was donated to interpret life during the homestead years and to provide wildlife habitat. The area features twelve miles of biking and walking trails, wildlife habitat areas, renovated historic buildings, a visitor/interpretive center and environmental education annex.
This 114-mile Rails to Trails project spans the Black Hills from Deadwood to Edgemont and it one of the top ten bike trails in the world. It includes a three-mile extension from Custer to Custer State Park. The Foundation raised money for creation of the Trail and continues to financially assist in its maintenance.
The Foundation raised funds to build the Campus and, more recently, to provide several new, interactive exhibits. The facility is visited by 100,000 people each year for outdoor education and recreation.
Nearly $1,500,000 in donations and in-kind gifts were raised by the Foundation and its group of volunteers for this exceptional outdoor education and recreation facilities. The Campus offers scores of outdoor classes for all ages and is already being visited by 100,000 people a year.
Other Projects Including:
Big Sioux Recreation Area, Brandon: The Foundation facilitated purchase of 120 additional acres of recreation and wildlife production land
Spirit Mount Historic Prairie, Vermillion: The Foundation worked with the National Park Service to purchase and restore this famous landmark climbed by Lewis and Clark
Fort Sisseton State Historical Park, Lake City: The Foundation supported renovation of the old military facility, home to many programs and events
Assembled exchange program: The Foundation acted as an escrow agent for the Office of School and Public Lands to facilitate the exchange of isolated, landlocked tracts of School lands for other parcels to increase revenues and public access
Land donations: The Foundation has assisted in the acquisition of over 3000 acres of land for game production, public recreation, and parks
Conservation easements: Three conservation easements along the Missouri River and Spearfish Canyon protect scenic areas from development
Memorial projects: The Foundation has accepted many memorial gifts to improve or provide new public outdoor areas