Tag: Mike Knutson


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GRANTS IN PLACE UPDATE: WALL, SOUTH DAKOTA

Blog, News & Events on November 19th. Comments Off on GRANTS IN PLACE UPDATE: WALL, SOUTH DAKOTA

David Ermish’s “Crosswalks for Better Walks in Wall” received a $600 Grants in Place award to support the creation of decorative crosswalks in areas where pedestrian safety is a concern in the historic town of Wall, South Dakota. The crosswalk locations were determined in cooperation with the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SD DOT). This unique project was the brainchild of student leader, Mercede Hess.

The first crosswalk site is on the campus of the Wall Schools.

We are pleased to provide the following update from Mr. Ermish and his student Mercede Hess:

“Mercede Hess is a senior at the Wall High School. She came up with the idea of developing and creating decorative crosswalks to ensure pedestrian safety in Wall, South Dakota. Mercede has two helpers, Keaunna Poor Bear (9th grader) and Miranda Poor Bear (5th grader).

Although they have not had the best … Read More »


New Growth Makes Housing a Priority in Tyndall

Blog, News & Events on October 31st. Comments Off on New Growth Makes Housing a Priority in Tyndall

Tyndall, South Dakota is on a roll.

This rural community of just under 1,100 people is seeing new growth in many areas, including an influx of new businesses, a beautiful new baseball field, a new 4-H building/community center and upgrades at the fire station and local park, among other things. Many of the improvements were made possible with the help of grants from the Hoch Foundation and The South Dakota Community Foundation.

With all of the new opportunities available in Tyndall, housing development has become an even bigger priority.

“It’s like a domino effect. When people see positive change, they want to be part of it, so they jump in and start something new too,” explains Ron Wagner, Chairperson of the Tyndall Development Corporation. “But without enough quality housing, we have people driving from 40 miles away just to work here. We need … Read More »


Deuel Area Development Joins the Learning Network

Blog, News & Events on September 21st. Comments Off on Deuel Area Development Joins the Learning Network

“We had been thinking about joining the Dakota Resources Learning Network for some time, but the last RuralX confirmed it for us,” says Joan Sacrison, Executive Director of Deuel Area Development. “The high caliber speakers and the energy surrounding the topic of ‘a new rural’ helped our board realize it was the right time to join.”

Deuel Area Development, Inc. joined the Learning Network in July, and while they are just getting their feet wet, they have had a positive experience so far. Deuel County is located in east central South Dakota and includes the communities of Clear Lake, Gary, Toronto, Brandt, Astoria, Altamont, Goodwin and Bemis. Like many rural areas, the communities are challenged by a lack of quality, affordable housing, local employment and residents shopping in nearby larger communities. Through their relationship with Dakota Resources, Deuel Area Development … Read More »


So, what IS the Dakota Resources Learning Network?

Blog, News & Events on September 21st. Comments Off on So, what IS the Dakota Resources Learning Network?

In a nutshell, the Dakota Resources Learning Network is a way for rural community leaders to connect with one another, find valuable resources, make confident decisions and help their communities thrive. Leaders can also turn to experts on topics such as housing, entrepreneurship, community engagement and managing an economic development organization. Dakota Resources brings network members together through:

A vibrant online community with a resource library
Two expert webinars per month
Four face-to-face gatherings
Six peer-to-peer video conferencing

“Obviously, it’s always best to gather face-to-face, but technology allows us to stay connected between these gatherings,” explains Mike Knutson, Dakota Resources Coach. “I am impressed with how much time and energy people put into connecting with one another. People don’t like working in a vacuum.”

The Dakota Resources Learning Network was officially launched in November 2017. Prior to the Learning Network, Dakota Resources managed separate networks for … Read More »


Five Grants in Place Awards made to SD Rural Teachers

Blog, News & Events on June 25th. Comments Off on Five Grants in Place Awards made to SD Rural Teachers

South Dakota Grants in Place is a cooperative venture between the Rural Schools Collaborative and Dakota Resources. Grants in Place provides a modest grant to rural teachers so they can engage with their students and community in place-based learning.

The Grants in Place program was implemented in South Dakota by Dakota Resources to connect rural teachers and students to their community through local projects. “Building the connections between rural schools and communities will help us ‘Get Better Together’”, says Mike Knutson, Dakota Resources Learning Network Director.

Jim Beddow, former President of Dakota Wesleyan University and Board Chair for the Rural Schools Collaborative stated, “We believe that place-based education gives meaning to learning, strengthens the bonds between school and community, and instills pride in the cultures and histories of rural places and small towns.”

In South Dakota, funding for five Grants in Place awards … Read More »


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