- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The vegetation at a park in South Dakota’s capital is being changed in a move that officials say could save the state thousands of dollars.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Monday announced the changes to Hilger’s Gulch Park, which boasts a 1.1-mile lighted walking trail, flower gardens and a scenic view of the state Capitol.

Daugard says the state every year spends about $36,000 for irrigation and $23,000 for mowing, fertilizing and weed treatment. The park’s water bills have reached $50,000 during dry years.

Daugaard selected the new vegetation for the Pierre park. It will require less maintenance and won’t need the use of chemical herbicides.

The new plants, including plum trees, prairie roses, blue asters and cone flowers, are expected to thrive in the natural climate of central South Dakota.

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