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Sioux Falls expands aquatic opportunities this summer

Is it safe? The water in many public pools is contaminated with <em>E. coli</em>, a study finds.
New aquatics opportunities coming to Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation recently released the new aquatic summer activities coming to the city.

City officials say with a full roster of qualified lifeguards, all facilities are able to open as planned June 2.

This summer, changes made to the aquatics programs include the first-ever aquatics camp, a new splash pad at Hayward Park, and double the number of outdoor swimming lessons.

Jean Pearson is the recreation program coordinator of aquatics. She said many communities have struggled to find lifeguards.

“We’ve been very fortunate in Sioux Falls,” Pearson said. She believes the lifeguard pay raise encouraged more high school and college students to apply for the job.”

With all pools being able to open, Pearson announced the city’s first-ever aquatics camp coming later this month. A variety of activities will be offered to enrolled children, including water volleyball, canoeing, and kayaking. Pearson said she hopes to expand the summer camp next summer.

To celebrate the new splash pad at Hayward Park, the “Have Fun at Hayward” event will take place later this summer.

Eric Saathoff is a recreation program coordinator for Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation. He said this celebration will continue to “highlight the improvements that have been made to that park” by providing “games, crafts, activities, and more.”

With the increased interest in the city’s facilities, Pearson said she hopes the extra swimming lessons will allow 2,000 children to learn the life-saving skill.

“We want people to know how to swim,” Pearson said. “Even if they know enough to get themselves out of a situation they may be facing, it’s a great skill to learn, and the more kids that get swimming lessons the better.”

More information about Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation programs can be found at

Veda is an English and journalism major at Augustana University in Sioux Falls. She loves writing and storytelling, and she plans to pursue a career as a journalist after graduation.