SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — Jennifer Kirby of Sioux Falls leads the Sioux Falls Parks Foundation, which tries to connect donors with the city’s park system. She and her husband Joe funded a dog park in downtown Sioux Falls, one of several prominent examples of private dollars combining with the city’s public resources.

“Levitt at the Falls was a significant public/private partnership,” Kirby said. “City donated money, and then there were countless individuals that helped make that a reality. The Kirby Dog Park is another one.”

“We have some really great examples of recent projects that we’ve been able to pursue because of these partnerships, including the project that we just broke ground on yesterday at Jacobson Plaza,” said Erica Beck, who serves as chief of staff to Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken. “The River Greenway phase three is another good example of that. Hayward Park, which is our new splash pad and dog park on the west side of town, another really great example.”

Beck says private money accelerates development.

“We’re able to move projects forward that we otherwise would have to wait several more years to be able to complete without those extra private dollars,” Beck said.

Beck says it isn’t unusual for people to want to give back to a community that’s been good to them.

“We’ve had such a great business climate here in Sioux Falls that folks who have had success and who have been able to make money in their business, and ultimately they want to give back,” Beck said.

“One thing Joe and I have experienced is when you make something happen in the parks realm, people are so excited and so grateful, and it’s just fun to see people’s joy and happiness as they utilize the space,” Kirby said.