Happy Friday! Megan here.

First things first: This issue is sponsored by Move to Sioux Falls.

  • Founded by fifth-generation Sioux Fallsian, Albert Huizing V, Move to Sioux Falls is a one-stop shop to help you not only find your house, but also create community in Sioux Falls. Learn more here.

Weather check: A calm start to December

⚠️ Last chance alert: It's the last day to add your gift guide suggestions to the collaborative Simplified Gift Guide. Each time you submit a local gift idea, you'll be entered to win a $50 gift card from Downtown Sioux Falls, Inc.

This weekend, you'll learn how the city is planning big changes for its largest park, as well as how the Outdoor Campus is looking to expand. You'll also hear from Children's Home Shelter for Family Safety – formerly Children's Inn – about how they're facing a major budget shortfall. Plus, find some Super Simplified Stories and a roundup of local events.

And now, news:


The Outdoor Campus is almost ready to expand

Simplified: The designs are in the works. The funds are nearly raised, and the Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus is looking to break ground on a $6.7 million expansion as early as next spring. Here's a look at what's coming.

Renderings of what the expansion could look like shared Thursday in a public meeting at the Outdoor Campus.

Why it matters

  • The Outdoor Campus, run by the state Game, Fish and Parks Department, has been offering free programming for 26 years to help people – primarily kids – learn skills to help them appreciate the outdoors, including fishing, hunting and more.
  • As Sioux Falls grows, though, the campus is looking to grow, too. Plans include adding a 60-yard outdoor archery range, a 20-yard indoor archery range, more classroom space and an interactive museum.
  • The South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation has agreed to raise $3 million to support this expansion, and they're most of the way there. Executive Director Kristina Coby said Thursday the foundation is 86 percent of the way to meeting that goal. Additional funding is expected to come from the federal and state governments.
"It's an exciting project for us," Outdoor Campus Director David Parker told Sioux Falls Simplified. "The goal is to be able to increase our free programming to the public."

Tell me more about the expansion plans

And what happens next?


Why the Children's Home Shelter needs more support

Simplified: The Children's Home Shelter for Family Safety – formerly known as Children's Inn – is facing a 40 percent budget shortfall, and they're going to be looking to state, county and local governments to help close the gap.

Why it matters

  • Children's Home Shelter moved into a new, larger facility almost exactly one year ago, more than doubling the number of beds available for victims of domestic violence.
  • Even in its greatly expanded space, the shelter has still seen nights where it's over capacity – with some nights up to 100 people seeking shelter, Program Director Amy Carter told the Minnehaha County Commission this week. Intakes are up 30 percent year-over-year, Carter added.
  • Chief Operating Officer Deanna Larson told commissioners the nonprofit is facing a budget shortfall of 40.7 percent. That's nearly $2.4 million the nonprofit needs to come up with to continue services at its current rate, and it'll need support from the county – as well as other government partners.
"Simply put, the demand for services is stretching our finances beyond sustainability," Carter told Sioux Falls Simplified in a statement. "We are grateful for our donors and private partners who help try and offset costs, but as a valuable community asset, we need additional public dollars."

Tell me more


Super Simplified Stories

  • Snag a piece of cartoon history. Did you know the cartoonist of comic Hagar the Horrible lived part of his life in Sioux Falls? Chris Browne, son of Dik Browne, the comic's creator, moved to Sioux Falls in the early 2000s. Chris Browne died earlier this year, and starting Dec. 6, there's an estate sale in his home. Find the details here (including hours and where to park). And learn a little more about the cartoonist's history in this Argus Leader story.


Get a look at the long-term plan for Sioux Falls' largest park

Simplified: The city parks and recreation department is working on a master plan to determine what Family Park – the city's largest public park – will look like for the next 50 years.

Why it matters

  • Family Park, located near West 12th Street and Ellis Road, is the largest park in the city with more than 240 acres – including a 154-acre land donation from the Unzelman family in 2018.
  • The master planning process started in July and has seen more than 1,300 responses from the community via surveys and public meetings. Much of the feedback was that people want to see Family Park remain a natural environment.
  • The plan, which was shared with the public this week, takes that feedback into account with added walking trails, native prairie grasses, increased fishing access and a playground that blends in with the natural environment.
"It'll give you the state park feel in the middle of Sioux Falls," Park Development Specialist Carter Roberts said.

Show me what it might look like


Stuff to do: Dec. 1-7

  • *Talk sustainability. A newly formed group called the Sioux Falls Sustainability Coalition is inviting the community to come to its first Community Conversation on Climate and Sustainability event starting at 8:45 a.m. Saturday at Our Savior's Lutheran Church. Find more details and register here.
  • See Santa. There are a few opportunities to catch the jolly ol' elf this weekend. He'll be stopping by the Washington Pavilion, the Canton Barn, and the new downtown Winter Weekends event, to name a few. And, of course, he'll be at the mall.
  • Support local makers. 605 Made is hosting its annual holiday market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Cherapa Place. Here's your guide to the almost 50 makers who'll be there.
  • Support local artists. The Washington Pavilion is hosting its annual Art Collective from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It's one of the largest gatherings of local artists in the area, and you can also win raffle prizes. Details here.
  • Support Black-owned businesses. Check out the Black Business Expo starting 10 a.m. Sunday at The Social. The in-person shopping event will celebrate local, Black-owned businesses with a wide range of goods and services from food to clothing to tech. Details here.
  • Carol of the beers. Sioux Falls' beer choir is singing at Severance starting at 7 p.m. Thursday. Show up, grab a beer, and start singing (ideally, with the other folks who showed up for beer choir – not just singing on your own).

*Denotes a paid event listing. Want to see your event shared here? Email megan@sfsimplified.com.


More Simplified Stories

Why hundreds of kids are at risk of going hungry at school
The Sioux Falls School District will no longer be serving food to kids who have a negative balance of $75 or more on their lunch account. It’s a tough decision, officials said, but the alternative could be up to half a million dollars in debt by the end of the year.
What Via’s contract tells us about the future of busing in Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls City Councilors got a first look at a 46-page contract between the city and Via, its new transit provider. Its complexity and flexibility points to big changes coming for how buses operate.
Meet the new group focused on making Sioux Falls more sustainable
A newly formed group called the Sioux Falls Sustainability Coalition is working toward a more sustainable future. Here’s what to know about their first event coming up this weekend.


What I'm falling for this weekend


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Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or pounds of mashed potatoes and gravy to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Sioux Empire United Way, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance and Voyage Federal Credit Union. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.

Special thanks to Move to Sioux Falls!

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