Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

Why not turn city parks into partial food forests?

This is one of the coolest ideas I have heard of in a long, long time;

According to Project Food Forest’s website, “A food forest, also called a forest garden, is a diverse planting of edible plants that attempts to mimic the ecosystems and patterns found in nature. Food forests are three dimensional designs, with life extending in all directions – up, down, and out”. Furthermore, “Food forests are a new farming concept in our area, but they have been used for thousands of years in other parts of the world. They are complex, just like nature.

Food Forests are unique and different from the traditional community gardens in key ways. Food Forests are made up of trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and roots. All layers of the ecosystem are incorporated.

Food Forests are also meant to be free and open to the public. Community gardens typically have leased land, requiring several hours of volunteer work or tending by the owner. Food Forests are perennial gardens, which when well-designed, are increasingly productive and abundant with time. Minimal upkeep is necessary, apart from gleaning food from the forest’s production.

The irony is that the city’s parks and forestry department spends millions each year maintaining our parks which are mostly non vegetable trees and flowers, why not maintain something we can eat? In fact I have seen several immigrants harvesting different plants and berries along our bike trail. Let’s get the whole community involved!

UPDATE II: Is someone using the Midco Aquatic Center as their own private pool?

Update: As you can see from the photo, there appears to be two people in the 50 meter pool area in swimsuits (this occurred last night, Sunday). According to the picture taker they saw the truck pull up in front, and once they realized they were being watched, they pulled the vehicle to the rear of the building. The picture taker then went to the rear and saw a young couple get out, the male was wearing his swim trunks already and the female had a swimsuit in hand. Then they easily unlocked the door and went in, where they later shot a picture of them going into the 50 meter pool area.

Update II: I guess Sioux Falls construction told the police that they were doing a ‘security check’ of the facility. I guess construction companies now do those inspections in swimsuits instead of hard hats.


Apparently last night someone (person living in Spellerberg neighborhood) took photos of people swimming in the Aquatic Center, once the people realized they were being watched, they split before police arrived (they were contacted).

If this really occurred, I find it a bit ironic that the city has not set an opening date for the center yet, but ‘someone’ is already using the facility.

Remember what I was told at the public tour about not being able to use video equipment because Sioux Falls Construction has ‘possession’ of the building until they turn the keys over to the city (even though they have received well over $16 million from the city’s taxpayers).

There is also a question of safety. What if one of these people would have drowned while using the pool, and they had either an association with the city or the construction company? Who would be sued for wrongful death?

I’m hoping this is all just a rumor, but if it did happen, the clowns need to knock it off before we are all on the hook for a lot more then just an unneeded special interest indoor pool built on Federal property.

UPDATE: Is MIDCO stretching the rules of there Aquatic Center Sponsorship?

Update: According to a city official the Project Team (Special projects under the Mayor) jointly agreed to the locations with Midco That decision and proposal went to the Parks board who approved the location. After approval by the parks board, they were installed.

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Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs! (26th & Western, Entry to Center, 22nd & Western)

So foot soldiers have been asking me the same question, does the sponsorship agreement with MIDCO include the entire park? No, it doesn’t. In fact the upgrades to the park came out of the parks budget, we paid for them and the building. MIDCO’s sponsorship is only to offset the operations of the facility and pay for certain equipment in the facility, it includes NOTHING in the park or maintenance of the park. So why the big signs? According to the sponsorship agreement (section 7, DOC:MidcoSponsorshipAgreement) The entry sign (to the parking lot) and the two signs on the building are well within the agreement, also any signage inside the building.

So what’s up with the park signage? Is MIDCO stretching the rules a bit? And better yet, why did the city allow this? Who saw this signage before it was placed? Naming Commission? Parks and Rec Board? City Council? Planning Commission?

The signage looks like MIDCO is sponsoring the entire park, and quite frankly, I think the signage looks gaudy in a public park.

This administration would sell the shirt off our backs if he knew he could get a couple bucks from it.

I told you so? One of the main reasons why the indoor aquatic center was built in a bad location

We said it during the campaign, the location will cause issues with expansion (of the pool) and parking. And while I was not totally opposed to a public indoor pool (I think a partnership with Sanford at the sports complex would have been best) the parking situation is going to get very, very interesting;

Construction of the Primary Care addition on the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Sioux Falls is nearly complete, and expected to be open in October. However, other phases of the project are far from finished, and it’s affecting patient care.

“My biggest limiting factor for care, is space,” said VA Health Care System Director, Darwin Goodspeed.

The VA Hospital treats more than 27,000 patients in east river every year, and the number of patients continues to rise. So, the need to expand the current building for more care comes with a price tag of $20 million.

“We’re doing some expansion, specifically to add square footage to our clinical spaces so that we can have more space available to see more veterans – more patient care.”

You also have to factor in the ‘quit claim deed’. Will the VA eventually start chipping away at the green space of Spellerberg for more parking? This location spelled trouble from the beginning, not just because of parking issues and expansion but it is built on a heavily traveled two-lane arterial (Western Avenue), that I nicknamed years ago ‘the parade route’.

Let the parking wars begin.

Terrace Park, Parked, June, 29, 2016

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Watch the Director of Sioux Falls Parks announce a policy change on the Terrace Park destruction. All the neighbors and community wanted was a voice in the process of saving the 100 year old park for future generations. The neighbors and friends of Terrace Park want the charm saved while making it safer to explore.

On June 29, 2016 our Cameraman Bruce found his way into the Old Commission Chamber of City Hall for this presser. Terrace park is the only park in Sioux Falls showing the beauty of the natural quartzite stone in the European tradition of stone laying paths, walls and steps. Why does every park have to look the same in Sioux Falls.

Why not move ahead with the allocated budget to repair the potentially dangerous steps while leaving the flat stone paths alone? This would be too easy and it would not look new? Why is concrete the only answer?

We can be glad this out of control project is going to be redone. It’s too bad we can’t get the pouty administration to consider the safety upgrades for now? Are they planning to make potential injury the reason to force the change?

It is also interesting the usual cast of destruction and mayhem are in the room doing the Huether headbob through this presser.

Won’t get pooled again

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This is what happens when you don’t play the city’s reindeer games


Improvements planned for this year at Terrace Park will not move forward in 2016. Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation will complete another planning process to ensure that any construction at the park will both improve accessibility and preserve the historical features of the park.

“We engaged the public at a very high level and for a number of years regarding this project, but we have not yet determined a solution that allows us to feel confident moving forward at this time,” says Don Kearney, Director of Parks and Recreation. “Our next step will be to reengage the neighborhood and take another look at the master plan for the park. Any revisions to the master plan will be approved by the Board of Historic Preservation, the ADA Accessibility Review Board, and the Parks and Recreation Board.”

In 2014, Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation collaborated with the Terrace Park Neighborhood Association and the community on a master planning process to guide future development of the upper portion of Terrace Park. The goal of this project was to identify existing issues as well as potential opportunities within the park. Over a six-month process involving multiple public input sessions, a master plan was developed and was to serve as a road map for future construction of the park.

The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015. Recently, the Board of Historic Preservation determined the construction plans would have an adverse effect on the historic property.

Construction of the master plan improvements were to be completed in multiple phases, with the first phase to construct a monument sign, accessible pathways, and a centennial marker recognizing the 100-year history of the park to take place in 2016. Those improvements will not take place this year. The master plan will be revisited, and design work now will take place in 2018 and 2019, with construction in 2020 and 2021.

This year’s construction contract will be canceled, and materials already purchased for the project will be used for other projects. To date, about $39,415 of the planned $176,250 project has been expended, but much of the work will be applicable when the master plan improvements are completed. The construction of the proposed master plan improvements in 2020 and 2021 will cost about $2 million.


Terrace Park Improvements to Be Discussed at Wednesday News Conference

What: News conference to provide an update regarding planned improvements at Terrace Park

When: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 11 a.m.

Where: City Hall Commission Room 224 West Ninth Street

Who: Don Kearney, Director of Parks and Recreation

Why: Construction of master plan improvements at Terrace Park were to be completed in multiple phases, with the first phase to construct a monument sign, accessible pathways, and a centennial marker recognizing the 100-year history of the park to take place this year. Recently, the Board of Historic Preservation determined the construction plans would have an adverse effect on the historic property. Come to the news conference to learn more about the next steps for Terrace Park improvements.

UPDATE: Public Open House of Indoor Aquatic Center TODAY!

5:30 at Spellerberg Park, 26th & Western Avenue.

We went with our camera and were not allowed in because they claimed that SF Construction has control of the site, and we are NOT media. We got the excuses part on video. We will be posting soon.

Inn Indoor Pool 400

NOT the new Spellerberg Indoor pool.

Chair of the Sioux Falls Board of Historic Preservation writes a letter of clarification

Dixie Hieb lays out the job of the board, and what their decisions ultimately mean in reference to Terrace Park;

I have complete confidence that our City’s Parks Department and Confluence, the landscape architecture firm involved with the project, will develop a plan that both improves accessibility and protects the historic integrity of Terrace Park. I believe the planning and approval process is an opportunity to serve both of these goals, but characterizing the process as a battle between opposing groups serves only to undermine these goals. All of the parties involved care deeply about Terrace Park, and together we will find solutions that maintain the historical character of the park for generations to come.

I couldn’t agree more. This isn’t about fighting the city, this is about preserving our city. That takes transparency and cooperation.