South Dakota Park Celebrates Milestone
Scenic Park has become the crown jewel among South Sioux City, S.D., parks since it was established 40 years ago and will celebrate the milestone with a birthday party on Friday (July 20), according to the Sioux City Journal.
The 134-acre park features wooded campsites, manicured ball fields and many other amenities that occupy now-prime real estate, running 1.3 miles along the city’s Missouri River frontage. The original 25-site campground now holds 85 sites for recreational vehicles, some equipped with water, sewer, electricity and cable TV. A corner of the campground holds 10 tent sites.
Its campsite rental fees annually net about $100,000 for the city, according to Brent Brown, director of the city Parks and Recreation Department.
The campground is just one of Scenic Park’s amenities. It also offers two fishing accesses, a boat ramp, 17 soccer fields, five baseball/softball fields with a concession stand, an outdoor Aquaplex, shelter house, recreation trail, playground and numerous picnic tables. And an eye-pleasing cityscape of Sioux City across the river.
In addition, the new 60,000-square-foot Siouxland Y is under construction in the park. Plans are also in process to add primitive cabins to the peninsula, along with a pedestrian bridge so cabin campers can cut across the river inlet to the amenities.
It wasn’t always so.
Before 1955, when the Pick-Sloan project dam across the Missouri River at Yankton, S.D., was completed, the green strip along the river was prone to regular flooding. That made it a poor candidate for commercial investment or even recreational amenities. But with the river tamed, the city realized it had a diamond in the rough and decided to dedicate the unimproved land to its residents’ recreational use.