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City Makes Family-Friendly Updates To Lyon Park

July 9, 2014, 5:03 PM by Don Jorgensen

City Makes Family-Friendly Updates To Lyon Park

It's one of the city's oldest parks and now it's finally getting a much needed makeover.

Lyon Park, which is located on the southern edge of downtown Sioux Falls, has been around since 1928, but over the years, neighbors have complained about safety issues.  The city is in the process of renovating the park to address those concerns.

For years, Lyon Park roared with activity.  Now it's roaring with heavy equipment and construction crews.

"What we are doing is trying to open up the sight lines into the park.  One of the concerns about safety was that you couldn't see back into the park from the street," Sioux Falls Parks Director Don Kearney said.

But when it's complete that won't be a problem anymore.   

Crews have been grading the land to cut down on some of the hills and cutting down trees.  They're also building a new swing set, a new shelter and adding new lighting so families will feel comfortable bringing their kids here once again.

"I think some of the loitering that goes on in the park was part of the problem.  Every once and awhile you'd find somebody sleeping in the trees; by clearing some of those out, it's opening up the sight lines, so it should really help," Kearney said.

Lyon Park has quite a history in the downtown area, which is just across the street from the KELO TV studios.

In 1928, the city received half the land from the Lyon family.  Then in 1944, the family donated the other half.  But even though a lot of changes are happening here, part of the family's legacy will remain in Lyon Park. 

"There was the Lyon house that sat on the south end and we're interpreting that through the foundations of that house and turning into flower gardens," Kearney said.

That will only help blossom the park into a family-friendly place once again.

The renovation is going to cost the city $360,000 and should be complete by mid-August.

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