- Associated Press - Sunday, June 24, 2018

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Sioux Falls officials are looking to create more parks after failing to keep up with a city guideline to have at least one park within a half-mile of every residential home.

The city’s growing population has pushed city limits outward over the last decade or more, the Argus Leader reported. The annual Comprehensive Annual Finance Report released last month by City Hall shows Sioux Falls hasn’t added any parks or park acres to its inventory since 2015.

City officials said they’re still committed to keeping parks accessible to every neighborhood in town.

Mike Cooper is the director of the Sioux Falls Planning and Zoning Department. He said that in recent years the department has been focusing on “maintaining what we currently have, retrofitting some the parks we already have.”

At least 14 park locations have been identified in the city’s long range plan, including near George McGovern Middle School and a future Brandon School District facility in southeast Sioux Falls. Parks Director Don Kearney said the city will soon develop a new park called Whispering Woods.

But the selected sites might not include play equipment, picnic shelters and drinking fountains until homes are filled in around them, said Mike Patten, Sioux Falls Park Development Specialist.

“We won’t construct the park with typical park amenities … until the surrounding neighborhood fills in with houses and the need for a neighborhood park is justified,” he said.

The city has 80 parks and 3,178 acres (1,286 hectares) of park land.


Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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