SPEARFISH, SD – Service groups, clubs, individuals, etc., interested in getting more involved in caring for community spaces are encouraged to adopt a park through the City of Spearfish.
“Great parks make great neighborhoods,” Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Superintendent Rex McDonald said. “The Adopt-A-Park program is a great way to promote civic responsibility and generate community pride.”
The Adopt-A-Park program was approved in June 2020 by the Spearfish City Council and creates a partnership between citizens and their parks, allowing groups and organizations to focus on caring for a park of their choosing, provided it has not already been adopted. Groups work with parks staff to volunteer their time to improve City parks and other facilities by doing upkeep, cleaning, maintenance, weed removal, and other general beautification and improvement projects. A workday usually consists of spreading mulch, staining the picnic shelters/picnic tables, painting restrooms, revamping landscaped areas, etc.
In its first year, the program elicited a good response, attracting the following organizations who adopted the following parks: Monument Health, City Park; Northern Black Hills Rotary, Rotary Park; Black Hills State University Volleyball, Salem Park; Ainsworth-Benning Construction, Jorgensen Park; and members of the Brady family, Brady Park. The Parks, Recreation, and Forestry department staff heard positive comments about the experience from the groups who adopted parks in 2020.
McDonald explained that the department is working to expand the Adopt-A-Park program this year, as well as find new ways to improve other operations. This includes working with the adopting partners to identify needs or opportunities for new amenities or features in the adopted park. For example, the Northern Black Hills Rotary Club’s installation of a pollinator garden, commitment to pollinator-friendly weed and pest control, and ongoing weeding efforts, as part of their 2020 park adoption, were examples of how the City hoped that Adopt-A-Park program would evolve as groups got involved and shared their vision.
“The benefits of the Adopt-A-Park program extend beyond the improved look of the parks – it helps to build an improved community,” McDonald said. “If the parks look good, they become community gathering points. The program allows the community to give back, and people of all ages and walks of life can be active in the Adopt-A-Park program.”
Organizations that adopt a park are recognized by signage in their adopted park notifying the public of the organization’s time, effort, and dedication to Spearfish’s parks system.
Interested organizations are encouraged to read the guidelines and fill out an Adopt-A-Park application, found here. Parks are adopted on a first-come, first-served basis, and more than one group may adopt the same park depending on its size and the types of projects/maintenance needed at that location. The park adoption lasts for one year and is renewable.
More information about the program guidelines can be found at https://www.cityofspearfish.com/735/Adopt---a---Park. For more information, call the Parks and Recreation department at 717-1189.
Photo caption: On Dec. 14, 2020, Spearfish Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Superintendent Rex McDonald presented Northern Black Hills Rotary with a plaque to recognize the organization’s efforts to assist the Parks department through the Adopt-A-Park program. A sign commemorating the partnership with Rotary was also installed at Rotary Park. Pictured are NBH Rotary President Tahiry Razafimanjato, left, and McDonald. Courtesy photo