Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge



Project Titles:

  • Repair Birdhouse Electrical Panelboard (FFS #R6JC)
  • Rehabilitate 8 Stall Garage Windows (FFS #R6JD)
  • Rehabilitate Shop Building Windows (FFS #R6JE)
  • Rehabilitate Carpenter Shop Windows and Hydrant (FFS #R6JF)

State: South Dakota

Project Description: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service used Recovery Act funds to pay for energy efficiency projects at the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Columbia, South Dakota.

Congress established the 21,498-acre Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in 1935 as a refuge and breeding grounds for migratory birds and other wildlife. Farmers settled the area in 1887 and used the land for agricultural production. The waterfowl population diminished greatly due to depletion of habitat due to farming. This prompted Congress to establish the area as a refuge. The James River flows through the refuge and feeds into Sand Lake and Mud Lake, two reservoirs created by dams built by the New Deal Era-Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

Sand Lake maintains the Wetland of International Importance and Globally Important Bird Area designations. More than 266 bird species, 40 mammal species, and a variety of fishes, reptiles, and amphibians call the refuge home. Approximately 75,000 visitors come to the refuge each year. The refuge manages the Sand Lake Wetlands Management District, the largest wetlands management district in the country, covering eight counties.

Repair Birdhouse Electrical Panelboard

Allen’s Electric of Columbia, S.D., replaced the electrical box and updated the wiring in the refuge’s bunkhouse. Workers from the CCC built the structure in the 1930s as a barn. The Service later converted the building for residential use, and uses it today to house temporary and student employees.

The building’s original electrical system still used cloth wiring and screw-in fuses. The project brought the building up to code, making it safer and more efficient. Workers completed the project November 15, 2009.


Birdhouse Electrical Panelboard Birdhouse Electrical Panelboard

Rehabilitate Garage, Shop Building, and Carpenter Shop

Workers from Aberdeen, S.D.-based House of Glass replaced windows in the shop building, the carpenter shop and the garage at the refuge. They replaced the original single-paned windows, which dated from the 1940s to the 1970s. The new double-paned, insulated windows should help the refuge realize substantial energy savings. Workers completed the window project in June 2009.


Rehabilitate WindowsA window before the project.  Rehabilitate WindowsA window before the project. 
03-23-2010_sand-lake-nwr_windows-beforeAnother window before the project.  03-23-2010_sand-lake-nwr_shop-afterA window after the project. 
03-23-2010_sand-lake-nwr_beforeThe garage before rehabilitation.  03-23-2010_sand-lake-nwr_afterThe garage after rehabilitation. 
03-23-2010_sand-lake-nwr_windows-afterThe shop building after the project at Sand Lake NWR. 

Please visit the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge website for additional information.

Originally posted 03/18/2010
Updated 03/23/2010
Page Completed 01/25/2011

DOI Recovery Investments by Bureau

Last Updated: February 02, 2012
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