BLACK HILLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Black Hills National Forest and Ellsworth Air Force Base are teaming up to encourage more people to get outdoors.
This partnership will be with the 28th Bomb Wing stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base.
“It’s an opportunity for our airmen to get out and connect with our local community. It’s an opportunity for us to give back to the Black Hills National Forest And just appreciate where we live and the opportunities that we have,” EAFB Wing Commander Derek Oakley said.
The Forest Service says this partnership is a natural fit.
“Two things, for one, this was for veterans. It was designed for veterans and built for veterans so they have a direct stake in that. And two there’s a huge potential for people that work at Ellsworth that want to be part of the community and want to give back,” Mystic Ranger District Recreation and Land Staff Officer Ben Schumacher said.
The partnership won’t stop here, as Ellsworth looks to connect with more in the community.
“It’s as we come out here and spend our time at Veterans Point, we’re going to actually invite local businesses to join us in that effort. To forge a greater partnership with our local community, while at the same time connecting our airmen with downtown partners and the forest service as well,” Oakley said.
As for maintaining this point, the National Forest is getting money from the Great American Outdoors Act Fund to help out.
“Once we get that funding in and once we get those contractors in, then Ellsworth can come in right behind and we’ve got a nice example and a good way to keep it set instead of having something that’s kind of in disrepair and try to struggle to bring it up. Put the money into it, get it where it needs to be and have a solid group of folks come on in and help us keep it there,” Schumacher said.
If you would like to help out with future projects, the Black Hills National Forest is always accepting volunteers.