The Sioux Falls Parks Foundation

I don’t have an issue with an organization like this to help raise private money for our parks, but I question this;

“The whole idea is to find donors that might have an interest in supporting the parks system with projects we’ve identified as priorities,” said Don Kearney, the city’s parks and recreation director.

Like an ice ribbon? Notice how that rolled out, once a donor said they wanted to give, their name was put on it and the tax payers had to pony up (while still having to pay an admission). While I am all for private donations to our parks, that donation should never be dictated to what it should be used for since taxpayers will likely have to maintain the project after it is built and likely contribute a matching donation to build it.

This is also why I take issue with it being a ‘private’ foundation where decisions about our parks will be made in private by a bunch of rich people who want to plaster their names all over our parks with their pet projects. I have always been a big believer of giving anonymously, modestly and having that gift go to an organization as a whole. It almost seems some of the elites in town are upset they are NOT getting the projects they want to see, so they will circumvent the legislative process.

The irony of this is that we could fund all of these projects through tax dollars (and charge no admission) if we stopped spending CIP money on play palaces we don’t need. I think we have an amazing parks system and for the most part it is FREE and almost 100% funded through tax dollars. I mean how many more Sanford parks do we need?!

And BTW, what happened to all the Sioux Falls logos matching???? I’m going to have to turn you into the Graphic Design Police.


#1 D@ily Spin on 11.06.21 at 8:23 pm

Kearney has his own empire aside from city operations and policy. Time to push him into retirement?

#2 My Mistake Mike on 11.07.21 at 7:57 am

Who hand-picked that board? Two employees from Howalt McDowell plus two members of the same law firm (including Steve Sanford, who represents Great Bear). Not good optics to potential donors.