OUR OPINION: Prairie Park will enhance community park system

October 10, 2018

Sustained economic growth should be a goal for our city because progress in the arena of economic development generates a spectrum of advantages through which all of us who live and work here benefit. As we have said many times before, one essential ingredient for economic prosperity is quality of life. To draw visitors and new residents and retain the residents we have - in particular, young residents who represent our future - it’s critical to invest in and create a robust variety of attractive amenities.

Without question, this strategy should include popular parks, green spaces and trails.

Through the years, we have used this space on multiple occasions to support creation or improvement of parks as well as creation of green spaces and expansion of trails and to ask questions and raise a flag of caution when proposals to develop park space into different uses have surfaced.

Sioux City’s newest park will welcome visitors beginning with a 1:30 p.m. grand opening on Friday.

Prairie Park, a 58-acre park, is located at 3500 South Lewis Boulevard. According to an Oct. 5 Journal story, the focus of the park is prairie and habitat preservation, education and recreation. Prairie Park will include a shelter, a walking trail with signage about the region’s native prairie and habitat and areas for fishing. A three-acre portion of the park will feature vegetation planted to attract pollinators such as monarch butterflies and bumblebees, The Journal reported last spring.

“This park is truly what parks and recreation is all about,” Matt Salvatore, the city’s parks and recreation director, told us. “Not only is it an inviting space that supports recreational interests of the area, but it also serves the environment. We are proud of this park and the example it sets in our community.”

A unique addition, Prairie Park will enhance what already is a wonderful, diverse system of community parks through creative conversion of unused land. Again today, we commend city government for its continued commitment to these important amenities.

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