SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — McKennan Park is widely known for its colorful variety of flowers, they bloom right in the heart of Sioux Falls.
But early Thursday morning, many of them were stolen along with something more. McKennan Park is a landmark in Sioux Falls. It is home to fun, families and many childhood memories.
“My family has lived in the community for twenty years; it’s a celebrated location for sure,” Chris Reistroffer said.
It’s also home to many flowers the liven up the park. But it’s also become a home for theft.
“The park is here for everybody’s enjoyment and not for one particular person, so to steal something that the taxpayers have paid for for us to install and maintain it’s just … any sort of vandalism in the parks system is not a good thing,” Kelby Mieras, Park Operations Manager, said.
“When we steal from the community, ultimately, we’re stealing from ourselves,” Reistroffer said.
After talking with the park supervisor, they say that many of these carefully dug out holes are a sure sign of someone taking them. Even deeper than the holes is how much people are affected.
“To see holes completely dug out of the ground where there were once flowers put for all of us to enjoy, you know, to be removed by someone so selfishly is really unfortunate,” Reistroffer said.
The park is given several thousands of flowers to plant every year, but there’s not enough to replace the ones that were taken. Not only hurting areas of land but the spirit of those who care.
“They were planted by park employees and maintained by park employees. They take a lot of pride in what they do and create a beautiful setting here at McKennan Park every year. It just adds more to what they need to do if somebody destroys what they’ve already done,” Mieras said
And the growth of our community.
“Right now, a lot of these plants are in that initial growth phase and they’re going to turn into large, beautiful flowers that ultimately are going to draw tourists, they’re going to draw families, and they’re going to inspire people to come out and to play and to be a part,” Reistroffer said.
To prevent this something like this from happening again, the parks department is looking to plant an idea.
“A better way to get flowers is to get them the way we got them: purchase them from a local retailer or grow their own. These flowers were bought and paid for for the park and not for somebody else’s use someplace else,” Mieras said.
“I hope those who are responsible definitely recognize that you’re not just stealing from one person, you know, you’re stealing from the whole community,” Reistroffer said.
If you notice anything like this happen in a park near you, don’t hesitate to call the parks department.