Strength in numbers: Helpline Center, City of SF, volunteers spruce up parks, bike trail


SIOUX FALLS, S.D.– The floodwaters might not be as high in Sioux Falls right now as they have been in recent weeks, but they’re not yet gone, and the damage they’ve left in their wake certainly isn’t, either. The clean-up is on, and tonight KELOLAND News is showing you one project that’s sprucing up the city’s parks and bike trail. The Helpline Center and the City of Sioux Falls have organized volunteer cleanups at a number of different locations.

A city’s parks help give it life, color and energy. As we’ve seen recently in Sioux Falls, many parks and the areas around them have been under the weather and underwater. That’s where these volunteers come in.

“After the flooding, getting the parks opened is so important, but they need to be clean before we can open them back up, and there’s debris and garbage that just needs to be picked up so they’re ready for everybody to use,” Helpline Center CEO and President Janet Kittams said.

Six parks Friday and seven on Saturday, as well as the bike trail, will receive post-flood spring cleaning from volunteers. Lynette Raaen of Sioux Falls is already helping.

“Our work is letting us come over here and enjoy the nice afternoon, even though a little cloudy, but it’s alright,” Raaen said.

She works for Howalt+McDowell, whose building overlooks this area she’s helping spruce up. 

“It makes me feel really glad that I can help out when others are not able to come because they’re dealing with their flooding issues, I’m at least able to be here when others can’t,” Raaen said.

Strength in numbers will help revitalize what the floodwaters damaged.

“I think there’s just more power in bringing people together as a group. We can get so much done together when we all, many hands make light work,” Kittams said.

If you’d like to pitch in, you can visit the Helpline Center’s Twitter page for information. 

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