SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A plan to turn a golf course south of Sioux Falls into a public campground for Good Earth State Park might not happen.
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission received an update Wednesday about the Spring Creek project from Scott Simpson.
The director for the state Division of Parks and Recreation summarized a meeting Tuesday between GFP officials and various parties including people who make their homes along the course.
“We don’t have a final plan,” Simpson said.
The South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation purchased the course and intended to transfer ownership to the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks in October 2024.
But the sales agreement prohibits construction of any facilities or the start of camping until 2035.
Simpson said the meeting with the various groups made “abundantly clear” that homeowners groups were “adamant” in opposing overnight camping.
He said the homeowners were “very open” to converting the course to a natural area with day-use activities and walking trails.
“That’s on our list of things to consider,” Simpson said.
Another possibility outlined by Simpson, who is a golfer, is contracting with an outside manager to run the golf course. Simpson said the department has a request for proposal ready to go for a five- to 10-year management contract.
“We do not want the golf course to suffer,” he said.
He later noted that Harrisburg High School uses Spring Creek for its boys’ and girls’ practices.
The third route Simpson identified was transferring the “interest” that the foundation and department have in Spring Creek to another entity in the area. He said GFP Secretary Kevin Robling attended the Tuesday meeting and wants to have a decision no later than the first week of December 2022.
Commissioner Stephanie Rissler of Sioux Falls also attended. “It was very passionate,” Rissler told other commissioners Wednesday. She noted that some of the people from the Tuesday meeting were in the audience Wednesday.
“I know these are your homes, your livelihoods,” Rissler said.
Robling pledged that his department would continue working to find a solution. “We will move forward in a positive direction,” he said.