Over the next five years, the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO), Blue Star Studio Inc. (BSSI), and partners commit to the pre-development work for the Keya Wakpala (Turtle Creek) Green Development ("Development"). This project is a scale-up of the Turtle Creek Supermarket-the first building constructed on the Development. This commitment will lay out a "road map" for the sustainable development of the nearly 600 acres of tribal land comprising the Keya Wakpala area.
REDCO and BSSI's pre-development commitment will include community engagement, site analysis, master planning, design & engineering, and costing of the energy and infrastructure systems, housing, new businesses, and supportive community facilities. The output will be a master design plan that provides a matrix for the sequence of projects, multiple phases of construction, and long term sustainability, operations, and maintenance plans. The mixed-use development project will include renewable and distributed energy, energy efficient housing, community support facilities, new businesses, and infrastructure projects, to be defined based on the needs and feasibility assessments.
In order to achieve these goals, the commitment will focus on the expansion of: 1) Partnerships, including Local (e.g. public safety, youth & family services, housing programs, transportation, etc.), State (e.g. housing authorities, rural development offices, community foundations, etc.), Non-profit (e.g. poverty reduction, food sovereignty, youth, elders, language revitalization, etc.), Federal (e.g. HUD, DOT, EPA, etc.), and Private (e.g. foundations, philanthropic, private citizens, angel investors, etc.); 2) Technical Assistance, including renewable and distributed energy, supportive and affordable housing, operations and maintenance, community engagement, and marketing and outreach; and 3) Resources, including grant writing and fund sourcing, access to expertise and specialized knowledge, access to wider markets and business opportunity, and connections to regional, national and international networks.
This commitment is the first phase of a larger project to sustainably develop the Keya Wakpala area in a deeply cultural manner over the next 20 years. The project plan will be conducted with the following goals in mind: 1) Tie into regional transportation, housing, water, and air quality plans aligned to local comprehensive land use and capital investment plans; 2) Align federal planning and investment resources mirroring local and regional strategies for achieving sustainable and livable communities; 3) Increase participation and decision-making in developing and implementing a long range vision by populations traditionally marginalized in public planning processes; and 4) Reduce social and economic disparities for the low-income, minority communities, and other disadvantaged populations.
The ultimate goal of this project is to strengthen the sovereignty and self-sufficiency of the Sicangu Oyate (Burnt Thigh Nation) living on the ancestral homelands of the Great Lakota (Sioux) Nation, today known as the Rosebud Indian Reservation of South Central South Dakota. To do this, REDCO and Blue Star Studio Inc. (BSSI) will implement this large-scale development project in a manner that engages, educates, and empowers the local community. This project will allow the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (RST) to fulfill the community outreach requirements as part of their Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) coordinated with the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration. (The CEDS brings together public and private sectors to diversify and strengthen the region's economy.)
This commitment will consist of continued fund-sourcing activities, community outreach & engagement, preliminary architectural/engineering (A/E) work to map out future phases and budgets.
To date, the following steps toward realizing the project have been completed:
1. REDCO establishes MOU and subsequent contract with BSSI to define overarching project definition, begins data gathering, and prepares for fund-sourcing efforts
2. REDCO/BSSI gathers current data for grant-writing and other fundraising efforts
3. Obtains partial project funding support from Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
The following steps will be continued or initiated to complete this commitment (constituting the first phase of the larger development project):
1. REDCO/BSSI establishes scope of work and contracts for wider A/E Team (which will include soils engineering, surveying, civil engineering, landscape design, green infrastructure specialists, an economic development consultant, mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineering, structural engineering, cost estimating and life cycle analysts. These consultants will be selected based on criteria established by REDCO/BSSI. Current prospects include the Integral Croup / Deep Green Engineering, the Sustainable Nations Development Project and Sherwood Design Engineers (To be completed in 2013)
2. REDCO identifies diverse portfolio of business enterprises to generate income (ongoing & increasing)
3. REDCO contacts Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to send in work order for a simple boundary survey (in-process)
4. REDCO/BSSI develop stakeholder agreement form to begin process of formally bringing in key project collaborators in anticipation of securing resources and assistance. REDCO/BSSI will oversee the process of forming a project Executive Committee to meet regularly to offer advice, knowledge and guidance as well as review and approvals as needed during key milestones of the project progression. (June/July 2013 to develop agreements and ongoing membership/enrollment in the stakeholders group thereafter)
5. Write grant proposals for increased project support (begin May 2013, then ongoing thereafter)
6. PRE-ENGINEERING ANALYSIS & ENGAGEMENT (to be completed in 2013)
a. Continued data gathering and development of preliminary lists of programs, partners & services whose involvement might benefit the overall Keya Wakpala Green Development at any phase. The end-goal would be to take these programs, partners & services and develop a matrix that would fuel realistic implementation opportunities.
b. REDCO/BSSI host Kick-Off Meetings to engage community stakeholders regarding basic perceptions about how Lakota culture and values will inform this project's outcomes. Also, a brief community SWOT exercise (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) will be done on the project's overall impact. (June 2013)
c. Programming and preliminary site analysis to identify master plan scenarios and options for layout based on preliminary data gathering and community values. This will lay the foundation for future in-depth engineering analysis as well as give the REDCO Executive Director and project Executive Committee an opportunity to review progress.
d. REDCO/BSSI to prepare scope and timeframes for RFPs from consultants for a detailed topographic site survey, in-depth market study and community needs assessment.
e. Produce preliminary master plan diagrams, with rough timelines and systems
f. Assemble Draft Narrative which contains all findings and graphic information gathered and produced up to this point. Present to REDCO Executive Director and the project Executive Committee for review and comments. After this, the final Narrative document will be produced to market, promote and spread general awareness of the Keya Wakpala Green Development to interested parties within tribal government and tribally enrolled membership, but also beyond to potential investors, collaborators and partners.
g. REDCO to distribute and present the findings of the Narrative to RST Tribal Council and to communities as a feedback loop and a tool for awareness-building.
7. PRE-DEVELOPMENT MASTER PLANNING
a. REDCO/BSSI to select a consultant for detailed site topographic surveying and utilities mapping. Work to be completed after the selection process. (July 2013)
b. REDCO/BSSI to select a consultant to craft and conduct a community needs assessment and survey which will be informed by early community inputs. Work to be completed after the selection process (July-August 2013)
c. REDCO/BSSI to select a consultant to undertake a market study to include financial indicators and regional demographics. Work to be completed after the selection process (August-October 2013)
d. A/E team to take preliminary community input, site data, and other REDCO collateral to produce the following deliverables by the start of 2015 (could occur sooner depending on access to funding):
ii. Preliminary site plan and project narrative to expand upon project parameters, performance targets, and overall design guidelines.
iii. Determine approximate place-based energy generation potential from renewables as well as distributed energy systems potential.
iv. Project matrix spreadsheet of general infrastructure, renewable energy systems, and buildings
v. Funding matrix of potential sources of further funding, including REDCO resources.
vi. Overall site renderings for use in public awareness and education, marketing, and fund-sourcing
vii. Assemble A/E Feasibility Report, present to REDCO Executive Director and project Executive Committee and finalize Final Report following review and approvals period.
vii. Present to REDCO Board and RST Tribal Council for adoption, printing, presentation and distribution to community, stakeholders, partners and potential collaborators.
8. Continued marketing, fund-sourcing and networking to expand opportunity, investment, and access to expertise (ongoing)
9. Prepare for next phases of implementation which may include building projects such as housing, business incubator, community facilities, or other projects that result from the overall process of community engagement, data gathering and pre-development master planning.
For the long-term sustainability and success of this project, the commitment-makers are seeking like-minded partners in the areas of project development (philanthropic, technical assistance, finance, marketing, and computer/IT). Examples of resources include direct funding for project implementation (e.g. to pay for any aspect of Commitment Costs and/or future phases of development) and programs (such as workforce development, youth and elder care, language immersion, poverty reduction, etc.); Match funding for grants (e.g. for consultant costs, staff salaries, business development, construction costs, etc.); Capital campaign management and fund-sourcing; Leveraged resources (e.g. materials, equipment, trainings, etc. from volunteer, non-profit, private investors that could benefit the overall progress of the project and future phases) and in-kind services (e.g. reduced or gratis contributions of staff time from interested parties with the skill sets needed as the phases of this project develop); Strategic planning and organizational management support; Media, marketing, and graphics support (videography, press releases, interviews); Project support through technical assistance (setup of revenue streams, setup of business enterprises); and Expertise in renewable energy, net zero development, large-scale energy systems for self-sufficient communities.
Commitment-makers offer knowledge from past experiences related to economic development, master planning, green design, fund-sourcing, partnership creation, and implementation strategies pertaining to community-led sustainable communities development projects in rural, small town, and tribal environments.