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Our Favorite Organizations

Sierra Club and

Nation's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization—with more than two million members and supporters exploring, enjoying, and protecting the wild places of the earth. The South Dakota Chapter works on environmental issues affecting our state, region, and nation and has 3 groups: the Black Hills group, the East River group, and the Living River group (in Vermillion).


Friends of the Missouri National Recreational River (MNRR)

The MNRR is a 100-mile stretch of North America's longest river (2,341 miles) and represents a vestige of the untamed American West. The wild and mighty Missouri River continues to flow just as nature intended within the two stretches that make up this National Park, only a few miles from Vermillion. The Friends organization is a coalition that promotes the well-being of the river and connects it to the communities along its shores.


Missouri River Institute (MRI)

Active in Missouri River research and education. MRI faculty have extensive knowledge about the 59-mile segment of the Missouri National Recreational River near Vermillion. USD faculty are directly affiliated with the institute, which supports graduate and undergraduate research assistants involved in river research activities.

Northern Plains Land Trust

Works with private landowners one-on-one to provide long-term, legally sound conservation strategies to protect the natural and economic elements of their land—through perpetual conservation easements and other tools.


Arbor Day Foundation

Inspires people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. A million members, donors, and partners support programs to make the world greener and healthier, such as community and campus forestry, connecting children with nature, and healing with trees after natural disasters.


The Land Institute

Developing an agricultural system that features perennials with the ecological stability of the prairie and a grain and seed yield comparable to annual crops. Using this system, the Earth can produce ample human food and reduce or eliminate impacts from the disruptions and dependencies of industrial agriculture.

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