On Oct. 19, 2008, South Dakota lost one of its foremost conservation leaders with the death of Tony Dean, 67, of Pierre. He left a legacy as an outspoken communicator, a champion for fish and wildlife resources, an accomplished sportsman and a warm and caring family man. He was especially concerned with conserving wildlife habitats for future generations to enjoy, and he worked hard to educate his audiences about the importance of involving young people and their families in the outdoors.

Tony’s wife, Dar, and their family have partnered with the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation (P&W Foundation) to establish the Tony and Dar Dean Outdoor Education Fund. The fund will continue Tony and Dar Dean’s passion for teaching South Dakota’s families and youth about conservation and providing them an opportunity to experience South Dakota’s fish, wildlife and natural resource heritage. Working in coordination with the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation, a restricted account has been established for the purpose of accepting donations for the fund’s operations. The P&W Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, and contributions are deductible to the maximum extent allowable for federal income tax purposes.

Central to the fund’s mission of youth conservation education is the operation of its Small Grants Program. This program is intended to provide resources, ideas and other support to people and organizations desiring to provide quality educational outdoor experiences for youth. These small grants are eligible to be used in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Funding travel for students or groups to educational opportunities or events
  • Providing supplies and materials to promote outdoor knowledge and skills
  • Paying instructors and teachers who lead/organize conservation education events
  • Create new activities and events that increase outdoor knowledge and participation among South Dakota families and youth
  • Supporting the curriculum and volunteers at the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks Outdoor Campus facilities in Sioux Falls and Rapid City that are applicable to outdoor education events for youth and families

Eligible Applicants:

  • Schools
  • Scout Groups
  • Clubs and Service Organizations
  • Conservation Groups
  • Volunteers and Individuals

All grant applicants must be South Dakota-based. However, nonresidents can serve as providers of contract services for the grants.

Possible Projects

  • Day trips for outdoor classroom experiences
  • Outdoor camps
  • Outdoor seminars and education classes at schools, fairs, events and camps
  • Preparation of activity books, teachers’ guides and resource training kits or trunks
  • Training workshops for instructors and volunteers

Projects are strongly encouraged to have a greater reach and longer lasting impact than the actual grant period and have strong educational value over time.

Application Process

All applications for the Tony and Dar Dean Small Grants Program will be taken electronically/online, using the attached form. This Summary of the Small Grants Program and the application form are available in electronic form at www.Tonydean.com and on the P&W Foundation website at www.parkswildlifefoundation.org . Completed proposals should be sent to: Wayne.Winter@state.sd.us . For related questions, call John Cooper at 605-222-7582 or Wayne Winter at 605-773-4503.

Logo courtesy South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks

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