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Clean Up Efforts Continue In SF Parks

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The warmer weather on Thursday was a good reason to be outdoors, but after the recent ice storm destroyed many Sioux Falls parks, some residents said they were having a hard time just finding a nice place to enjoy the weather.

“Going to a park is like walking through a disaster zone, so it’s kind of nice just to come to a park,” said Sioux Falls resident, Lance Cole.

While many parks may still be considered a disaster zone littered with branches and debris, Don Kearney, Director of Parks and Recreation for the city, says he is determined to change that as quickly as possible.

“All of our teams are out inspecting these parks to make sure that there aren't any hazards out there before we declare them open," said Kearney.

The biggest hazards are hanging limbs, which are the reason several areas of parks or entire parks are still closed to the public.

“We really want the public’s cooperation in staying out of those areas until they’ve been designated as a color green, which means there are no restrictions and people can safely use those parks,” said Kearney

Possibly the biggest delay in getting the parks open has been the wet weather, that has left the ground a wet and muddy mess.

“Because of the amount of moisture we've had, it's soft and we don't want to get our vehicles stuck out there so we just need it to dry out a little bit before we have those crews go into those parks," said Kearney.

The soggy ground is a problem city officials are confident the warmer weather will take care of.

“The weather has certainly been helpful to our efforts and we'll keep plugging away,” said Kearney.

A few parks that are open with no restrictions include Spencer Park off of Cliff Avenue, Marion Park and Emerson Park.

For a complete list of parks that are open to the public, you can visit this website.

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