City Announces Summer Service Updates
The City of Sioux Falls is committed to offering summer family friendly opportunities while reducing the spread of COVID-19. Due to the public health risks of COVID-19, a gradual approach is being taken to reopen City owned facilities, park system amenities, recreation programs and library services.
“As one of the City’s core values, safety is one of our highest priorities for the public and our employees,” says Don Kearney, Director of Parks and Recreation, “Throughout the operations of our parks, pools and community centers, we want individuals and families to have fun and enjoyable experiences, but not at the expense of personal safety. We will be gradually reopening many of our facilities and amenities in the coming weeks to align with the public health priorities of the City.”
Based on the continued presence of COVID-19 in the Sioux Falls area, the high cost of operations and burdensome recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for aquatic facilities, City-owned pools will suspend operations for the summer 2020 season. These aquatic facilities include Terrace, Laurel Oak, Kuehn, Frank Olson, Drake Springs, McKennan Wading Pool and Pioneer Spray Park. The Midco® Aquatic Center will remain closed until deemed safe to reopen.
Pending approval by the City Council, free admission to the Great Plains Zoo and the Washington Pavilion will be offered to qualifying families for June, July and August 2020. Sioux Falls residents who present documents such as a SNAP Benefits Card, a School Lunch Letter, or a Medicaid Card in addition to proof of address will qualify. The proposal will be presented at the Wednesday, June 3, 2020, City Council meeting.“As a dad, I know how important it is to keep kids active, especially when school is out for the summer,” says Mayor Paul TenHaken. “Providing free admission to families who typically qualify for free pool passes to these other City attractions will help families enjoy even more of their community this summer.”
Expanded recreation and library programming will be provided while maintaining physical distancing recommendations this summer. This includes additional hydrant parties, expanded community center hours of operation, 11 additional playground program sites, added bookmobile stops and a new collaborative citywide program to include scavenger hunts, science and art activities, fitness challenges, outdoor yoga, online escape rooms, virtual programming and more.
“Siouxland Libraries’ successful summer reading program, a highlight for many families, has been converted into an online format this year for all ages,” says Jodi Fick, Director of Siouxland Libraries. “The theme of ‘Imagine Your Story’ inspires each of us to try new activities this year. Readers throughout the region will be enriched and inspired this summer, plus have a chance to win prizes.”
Registration begins Monday, June 1, with details at siouxlandlib.org/summer-reading.
The City is working with area sports associations to determine how to safely move forward with summer sports leagues. A decision on organized leagues will be made on Friday, May 29.
Picnic shelters, public restrooms and outdoor wedding venues will begin to reopen to the public in the next two weeks. Drinking fountains will remain closed. Park users are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles with them.
Sioux Falls is home to 80 developed parks and 35 miles of paved recreational trails. Other great recreation options include the Falls Overlook Café, Falls Park Visitor’s Center, Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum and East Sioux Falls Historic Site, Stockyards Ag Experience, The Outdoor Campus, Butterfly House and Aquarium and other great partners of Parks and Recreation.
For a list of services and recommendations to park patrons, visit siouxfalls.org/parks/covid-advisories. For more information on Siouxland Libraries activities, visit siouxlandlib.org. Visitor information for the Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum is at greatzoo.org. Visitor information for the Washington Pavilion is available at washingtonpavilion.org