Youth Conservation Center Brings Community Together
The Sunshine Chapter’s new Youth Conservation Center has been a community construction project that will benefit the whole community.
As building coordinator and fundraising co-chair, Jerry Schlekeway led the Herculean task of raising more than $110,000 for construction of the facility. Chapter members volunteered for a variety of fundraising efforts — from auctions to fish frys — to help raise money for the project. Equally impressive are the more than 4,000 hours of volunteer labor — from chapter members and the community at large — that went into the project. Tearing down the old building and laying a new foundation, framing walls and putting up a roof, installing plumbing and taping and painting walls — volunteers lent a variety of expertise to make this dream a reality.
The finished building is 50x100 feet. The largest room will be used for indoor shooting activities, but targets will be mounted on wheels so they can be turned toward the wall when not in use. The chapter hopes to finish installing equipment and open the facility by October 2010. Planned activities include lessons, practice sessions, leagues, and open shoots in archery for youth, adults, and seniors; meetings, practices, and competitive shoots for the Junior Shooters; and weekly workshops on conservation issues and outdoor activities for the whole community. The facility will serve as a springboard for taking conservation workshops out into the community through schools, senior centers, and other venues. The chapter will also host an outdoor campus at least once a year.
The center will open its doors to outside conservation groups and serve the immediate community to promote the outdoors in South Dakota.
Photo bottom right: The inside is
finished and ready for equipment! (May 2010)
Pictured left to right are Jerry Schlekeway,
fundraising co-chair Russ Hanson, and chapter
president John Henderson.