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Community Foundation Announces Fund for Hayward Park Revitalization Project

Initial plans for the revitalization project envision a spray park, an off-leash dog park, walking loop and expanded community garden.

The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation today announced its partnership in a proposed project designed to revitalize Hayward Park.

Situated near Hayward Elementary, a title 1 school in western Sioux Falls, Hayward Park serves kids from families whose parents often work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

Many of these kids don’t have much for a yard; they live in homes on streets that don’t have sidewalks for the most part, said Steve Hildebrand, one of the project’s organizers.

“For kids to play … they need a place they can go,” he said.

A place to go — not only to play and have fun, but also to feel protected, the project’s organizers said.

Today, when kids in the neighborhood want to spend time outdoors, they often walk or bike to Hayward Park, which currently features a picnic shelter, playground equipment and an open field area.

The space, project organizers said, has the potential for so much more.

The revitalized "park is so important (because) it can be a place where kids go to feel safe,” Hayward Elementary School Principal Derek Maassen added.

About the Project

Initial plans for the proposed $2.2 million revitalization project envision a spray park, an off-leash dog park, walking loop and expanded community garden.

Greg Neitzert serves as the city councilor for the Northwest District, which includes the Hayward neighborhood. He spoke about the significance of the project.

"This project will be transformative for the neighborhood,” he said. “The proposed spray park will provide much needed access to water for children. The proposed dog park, play equipment, and walking path will provide opportunities for people of all ages to exercise, play, and spend time together."

It's expected that the project will come before the City Council within the next three months. If approved, construction could begin in the spring and summer of 2022.

Organizers said private donations will be key to the success of the project. To date, the 2021 Leadership Sioux Falls class and the Promising Futures Fund have both announced major financial commitments to the project.

To help raise funds for the park, the Hayward Park Fund has been established at the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation. Andy Patterson, president of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, called the opportunity to partner on the project “an honor and a privilege.”

“This park is not only going to enhance the vibrancy of this neighborhood, it’s going to create opportunities for our kids to thrive; it’s going to connect neighbors over shared interests; and it’s going to bring people together in community,” Patterson said. “We celebrate the vision for this park and we’re excited to do our part to help this important project come to life.”

Supporting Our Community

The Community Foundation has a long history of partnering on major projects designed to enhance the vibrancy of the Sioux Falls area and enrich the lives of those who call it home. In addition to the Hayward Park project, the Foundation has provided charitable fund management and support for projects including the Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum, the State Theatre, Stockyards Plaza, Levitt at the Falls and more.