Parks and Recreation Top 10 Wins

  1. Midco® Aquatic Center: Our city’s first public indoor aquatic center stayed on a very positive track during the first full year of operations. Nearly 220,000 people took advantage of this state-of-the-art facility in 2017. The department is thrilled by how the community has embraced this facility, with June and July being our busiest months averaging 30,000 in total attendance.
  2. Falls Park West/Levitt Shell—More Partners Secured: Construction of the Levitt Shell got a head start due to a partnership with the Cascades project, which provided more than 10,000 cubic yards of fill that would have otherwise needed to be purchased for the project. Also, due to the timing of the gift, all of the fill was hauled before winter set in. L.G. Everist, Inc. has also agreed to donate more than 400 quartzite boulders that will be used for retaining walls and landscaping throughout the project site. Sioux Falls is scheduled to become the ninth city in America to have a Levitt Shell performance venue.
  3. Golf Course Management RFP—First Time in 23 Years: For the first time in a very long time, a competitive request for proposals was issued for golf course management services with the goal of ensuring taxpayers receive the very best value. Many City staff members were involved in the process, and the contract was awarded to Landscapes Unlimited.
  4. Seventh and Weber Building Redevelopment—A New Use Coming Soon: A request for proposals was issued for the repurposing of the old Parks and Recreation office building located on the corner of Seventh Street and Weber Avenue. A quality proposal was received that will allow this building to be repurposed into office space that will be complimentary to the adjacent Heritage Park. This project was a fitting solution to a building that served our community for nearly 100 years in various capacities. Subject to City Council approval, this newly renovated building may become a great neighbor to the park and the Weber Avenue corridor.
  5. Elmwood Grand Reopening—Only Getting Better: After more than three years of renovations, a brand-new Elmwood Golf Course is complete. This was an important project in many ways for our community. The Sioux Falls Regional Airport was brought into compliance with the latest Federal Aviation Administration regulations, and our historic golf course received some outstanding upgrades that will provide lasting enjoyment for the entire community.
  6. Stockyards Ag Experience Grand Opening—Preserving History: The Stockyards Ag Experience in Falls Park and the Stockyards Ag Plaza are two landmarks that will preserve the history of the stockyards that served the Sioux Falls region for nearly 100 years. The original Horse Barn in Falls Park was recently remodeled into the Stockyards Ag Experience Barn. The barn now serves as a place to communicate the role agriculture plays in our society, and provides a dynamic and interactive learning center for people of all ages to explore the evolution of agriculture in this region. The department also entered into an agreement with the Stockyards Ag Experience group to create the Stockyards Ag Experience Plaza. The plaza will create a regional attraction near Falls Park and will be designed to walk visitors from “pasture to plate” through four experiential areas: cultivate, raise, tend, and celebrate.
  7. Marion Park Master Plan—A Multipurpose Solution: Today, engineering advancements can make parks serve far more than a recreation and open space function. As a result of a collaborative project with Public Works, Parks and Recreation will be able to build a new Marion Park at the existing site while also allowing the subsurface area of Marion Park to be used as a stormwater detention facility. Storm drainage has been a challenge in this neighborhood for many years, so not only will the park improvements be a welcomed addition, but also the storm drainage will be much appreciated by the neighbors.
  8. Trails, Trails, and More Trails: The bike trail system in Sioux Falls is one of the most popular amenities in the entire parks system, and it saw even more use in 2017. More than one million users were counted at the six trail counter locations. This was the first year the million mark was surpassed since the counters were installed. One major improvement to the trail system this year was the reconstruction of 1.25 miles of the main trail loop from Minnesota Avenue to Cliff Avenue, the most popular stretch of the trail. The project widened the trail to 12 feet, improved drainage, and made the trail safer by improving sight lines and softening tight curves.
  9. Midwest Regional Soccer Tournament—Hosted for the Fifth Time in Our City’s History: This tournament brought in 224 teams from 12 states who competed in a weeklong regional tournament at Yankton Trail Park. The tournament also sent 14 boys and 14 girls age group champions to the national tournament in Frisco, Texas. The tournament officials marveled at the facility and staff’s willingness to accommodate a tournament of this size and stature. The Region II Championships co-chair made it known that Yankton Trail Park is regarded as one of the best soccer complexes in the nation.
  10. Tobacco-Free Initiative—Expanding Tobacco-Free City Properties: In 2017, Parks and Recreation worked to advance the scope of the Tobacco-Free City Properties initiative in cooperation with the Health Department and the Project Management Office.