Kirby family donates new downtown dog park

May 8, 2019

Longtime community philanthropists Joe and Jennifer Kirby are donating an item on many wish lists: a permanent downtown dog park.

The proposed location is at Fort Sod Park at 10th Street and Second Avenue. Construction could start as early as this fall.

“A downtown dog park has been identified as a need by the downtown Sioux Falls community for years, and we are thrilled with the offer from Joe and Jennifer to provide funding to make this dog park a reality,” said Don Kearney, the city’s director of parks and recreation.

“We feel Fort Sod is an ideal location due to its central downtown location, high visibility, access to parking on evenings and weekends, and the ever-growing number of residents and their dogs that are calling downtown home.”

The land is adjacent to the Great Outdoor Store. Fort Sod Park currently includes the Sea Dream sculpture, green space, a seating area and historical information.

The concept plan calls for a small-dog area, an area open to any dog, bath areas and a wash station, a drinking fountain for people and dogs. A play area will feature artificial turf, a log tunnel and climbing boulders.

The concept plan and a park master plan will be presented to the parks and recreation board and will be need to be approved by the City Council, along with an amendment to the capital improvement plan to include the project as a donation.

“I want to thank Joe and Jennifer Kirby for their generosity and stewardship to allow us to move forward with a long-awaited permanent dog park in the core of our downtown,” Mayor Paul TenHaken said.

According to the city, the project is supported by Downtown Sioux Falls Inc., adjacent property owners and Steve Thomas, the sculptor of Sea Dream, which would be moved to Prairie Green Golf Course.

Kirby family donates new downtown dog park

Longtime community philanthropists Joe and Jennifer Kirby are donating an item on many wish lists: A permanent downtown dog park.

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