Learning about the outdoors and conservation are important experiences for South Dakota youth. To help make that happen, a fund established in honor of a family that is well-known to the outdoor community will begin awarding grants this fall.

The Tony and Dar Dean Outdoor Education Fund was established in memory of outdoor broadcaster and writer Tony Dean, who died in 2008, and in honor of his wife, Dar Dean, an outdoor enthusiast who has a strong commitment to enhancing outdoor educational opportunities.

Working in cooperation with the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation, the Tony and Dar Dean Outdoor Education Fund will provide small grant funding for projects associated with youth conservation education in South Dakota.

The grants are intended to provide resources and support to individuals and organizations desiring to provide quality educational outdoor experiences. The funds are eligible to be used in a variety of ways, including but not limited to: funding travel by students or groups to educational events; providing supplies and materials to promote outdoor knowledge and skills; and creating new activities and events that increase outdoor knowledge and participation among South Dakota families and youth.

The period for accepting proposals will run from April 5 – July 1, 2012.  Grant projects will be funded at a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $1,500. A total of $4,000 is available to applicants in 2012 for activities and projects that will be completed in late 2012 or in 2013.

Applications for Tony and Dar Dean Outdoor Education Fund small grants will be accepted only electronically/online, using the application form provided. The summary of the small grants program and the application form can be found at www.Tony Dean.com and on the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation website at www.parkswildlifefoundation.org

For related questions, please call John Cooper at 605.222.7582 or Wayne Winter at 605.773.4503.

The group working on this educational effort plans to build the fund so a larger number of grants can be awarded in the future. For information on making tax-deductible contributions to the Tony and Dar Dean Outdoor Education Fund, visit www.parkswildlifefoundation.org

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