South Dakota Planners Association was created in 1989, it evolved from the Association of Planners and Geographers. As the State Planning Bureau was dissolved and reorganized to fulfill other responsibilities in the late 1970’s, the state comprehensive planning assistance functions with local units of government ceased to exist as did the original state planning association called the South Dakota Association of Planning Officials. So, another institution was needed to help provide those functions. Over the years SDPA has hosted and co-hosted many trainings, a yearly conference and every 10 years or so a Western Plannner Conference. It has become a very active and strong group--training planners, planning commissioners, and participating in the South Dakota legislative process as a voluntary sounding board as state statutes are revised and updated.
The Association was formed in order to:
- Unite in common organization those professionally engaged in the planning profession and others interested in the welfare of the planning profession;
- Stimulate enthusiasm and interest in community and regional planning among the people of South Dakota;
- Encourage and promote fraternity among South Dakota professional planners and those serving as elected and appointed officials;
- Assist schools and colleges in informing students of the planning process and planning profession;
- Speak as a representative voice of community and regional planning in South Dakota, keeping private citizens and officials accurately informed as to professional planning opinion on contemporary issues;
- Assist in furthering public understanding of the objective and functions of the planning process;
- Provide opportunities for continuing education for professional planners;
- Provide a forum for discussion of issues of common concern among planners and planning officials;
- maintain and promote standards of professionalism among South Dakota Planners; and
- Do anything necessary or proper for the accomplishment of any objects herein set forth or that shall be recognized as proper and lawful objectives under the South Dakota Nonprofit Corporation Act.