Spearfish was named one of the Top 10 Small Towns by Livability.com this week.
Spearfish ranked number seven on the list, with Black Hills State University listed as a key component to the community’s high quality of life. Livability looks for small communities that inspire creativity and activity.
According to Livability.com, BHSU creates a “college hometown vibe.” Black Hills State University provides not only educational opportunities, but entertainment options for the community from live performances to art exhibits.
In addition, the more than 4,400 students enrolled at BHSU support the local businesses throughout the year.
Maxwell Kwenda, director of institutional research, moved to Spearfish with his family one year ago from Oklahoma.
“We moved to the best part of the state,” Kwenda said. “We didn’t know it then, but we do now. It’s really the little things.”
Kwenda, who lives near the University, said he enjoys the ability to walk or bike not only to work, but almost anywhere in Spearfish. He also enjoys the vast outdoor activities, like walking along Spearfish Creek, which he said he and his family do several times a week.
He added that having an institution like BHSU greatly connects the community.
“Most people are connected to the University in some way,” Kwenda said. “They either work here, went to school here or know someone who works here.”
Communities under 20,000 were studied and criteria included, income growth, employment, community involvement and cultural assets, among other things.
For more on Spearfish’s ranking, visit www.livability.com.