2023 Sustainable Community Grant Awarded to Friends of the Big Sioux River

Sioux Falls, South Dakota: The City of Sioux Falls’ annual Sustainable Community Grant was awarded to Friends of the Big Sioux River, a nonprofit organization focused on the protection and restoration of, and education about the Big Sioux River and its watershed.

The Sustainable Community Grant is a Public Works initiative that supports and amplifies community-based sustainability and conservation efforts. This year, Friends of the Big Sioux River will receive $9,785 for its water quality curriculum development and education project, which provides hands-on learning to middle and high schoolers of water ecosystems, pollution effects, and recommended actions for a healthy watershed.

“As a river city, Sioux Falls deeply values the environmental, social, and economic benefits the Big Sioux River provides our community,” said Holly Meier, the City’s Sustainability Coordinator. “Funding Friends of the Big Sioux River builds upon ongoing water protection efforts by supporting students’ education and connection to the river. Interacting with nature contributes to conservation behavior, so this project will continue nurturing environmental stewardship and community well-being for years to come.”

Friends of the Big Sioux River became an official nonprofit in 2015. With the help of volunteers, its work centers on water quality monitoring, public policy and advocacy, river restoration, and education. 
“We are grateful for this opportunity with the City of Sioux Falls,” said Travis Entenman, managing director of Friends of the Big Sioux River. “Grants like the Sustainable Community Grant go a long way for grassroot organizations to have direct, on-the-ground impact. This funding will help us to continue building out our water quality education that will bring hands-on education to 6th to 12th classrooms and 4-H and FFA groups. With this project, we aim to increase public knowledge surrounding water quality issues, particularly in the next generation of leaders and community members.”

The Sustainable Community Grant began in 2016. For the past eight years, $10,000 has been awarded annually to a total of eight nonprofits contributing to Sioux Falls sustainability. Grant funding has supported waste reduction and recycling, food redistribution, diversion and composting, community education, water resource protection, and food access efforts. Previous grant awardees include SoDak Compost, Bread Break, IronFox Farm, Habitat for Humanity, Furniture Mission of Greater Sioux Falls of South Dakota, Ecomaniacs, and Augustana University.

For additional information on Friends of the Big Sioux River, visit www.friendsofthebigsiouxriver.org

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