Sioux Falls to celebrate Earth Month with activities at parks, libraries

“If you can appreciate the beautiful place we live in, you'll be celebrating Earth Month," one city official said.

McKennan Park-flowers.JPG
A city employee waters a flower bed at McKennan Park in central Sioux Falls in May 2018.
Hunter Dunteman / Sioux Falls Live

SIOUX FALLS — As warmer weather arrives and snowpack continues to disappear, the city of Sioux Falls is recognizing Earth Month with a variety of events and initiatives at public parks and libraries.

Earth Month serves as a time to raise awareness surrounding the environment and bring consciousness around the challenges it faces. Though typically celebrated in April, some events in Sioux Falls have been extended into May, as well.

From seed giveaways and river cleanups to hikes and a common read, here’s some of the events put on by the city of Sioux Falls this month:

One Book Siouxland: Common Roots Seed Library

Siouxland Libraries is introducing its partnership with Common Roots Seed Library during One Book Siouxland with a program at Ronning Branch. Learn about the role seed libraries play in resilient communities and food economies and how to use them for your gardening needs by signing up online.

The Common Roots Seed Library will maintain the seed library for the next year. Customers can borrow seeds, grow by planting and learning more through library programs and materials and return seeds when the season ends.


Sustainable Community Grant

Applications for the Sustainable Community Grant are now open. The grant, which began in 2016, has the purpose of partnering with nonprofits to help amplify community-wide sustainability efforts and help meet the City’s Sustainability Program goals. Grant dollars have supported reducing waste, water resource protection, food access, community vitality, and education in the community. Applications must be submitted to the city by April 28.

April 20: Earth Day Celebration

Siouxland Libraries’ downtown Sioux Falls branch will hold an afternoon of crafts and hands-on activities on Thursday, April 20. The drop-in “make-and-take” event will run from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the YS Program Room, and will be geared toward children from kindergarten through fifth grade. No advanced registration is required for the free event.

Falls Park.JPG
The Big Sioux River tumbles over quartzite rock in Falls Park just north of downtown Sioux Falls.
Hunter Dunteman / Sioux Falls Live

April 22: Big Sioux River Greenway Cleanup

The eighth-annual cleanup will take place at seven different locations along the recreation trail surrounding the Big Sioux River from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 22. Volunteer coordinators will be at each park location with bags, maps, and gloves. Registration is appreciated but not required. More information on specific locations can be found on the city’s website.

April 22: Earth Day Explorers Hike

Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation will host an Earth Day Explorers Hike at Family Park on Saturday, April 22, from 1 to 3 p.m. The gathering, geared for children ages 6-9, will include a service project, craft and other outdoor-themed activities. Participants should wear closed-toed shoes and bring a water bottle, as they should be prepared to spend the day outdoors. Registration is required at a cost of $10 per participant.

April 27-28, May 5-6: Volunteer Tree Planting

Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation is asking for volunteers to help the city reach their goal of planting 500 trees in various parks. City staff will meet in different locations at different times on the last weekend of April and first weekend of May to plant trees. Registration is required, as a waiver is needed. Information regarding each planting day is available on the Helpline Center’s website.

Coming Soon: Prairie and Pollinator Garden Program

The Prairie and Pollinator Garden is an upcoming pilot program in partnership with the city of Sioux Falls and Minnehaha Conservation District. The program will offer garden kits to residents who want to plant a native grass and wildflower garden that conserves South Dakota’s native plant heritage, supports pollinators, and protects water resources. More information is to come via the City’s Sustainability newsletter.

An ‘Earth-friendly’ intiative

According to Brianna Schreurs, communications strategist for Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation and Siouxland Libraries, the city’s events are intended to bring the community together behind the cause of maintaining a healthy environment.


“As a city, we’re always trying to become more Earth friendly. By having events and programs that focus on how to be more mindful of our environment, it makes us stronger,” Schreurs said. “By engaging with this programming, you're learning how to be stewards of the place we live, which invests in the longevity of our environment.”

Though some may not be able to make it to the city’s programming, Schreurs said there are other ways residents can celebrate Earth Month.

“Sioux Falls has 81 public parks, and they’re gorgeous. Go for a walk on a nice day and enjoy the green space,” she suggested. “If you can appreciate the beautiful place we live in, you'll be celebrating Earth Month.”

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on local news in Sioux Falls. He also writes regional news spanning across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
What To Read Next
Get Local