2018 SOUTH DAKOTA EXTENSION MASTER GARDENER UPDATE - Tour Information

View/Print Tour Information PDF


The Japanese Gardens at Terrace Park

The Japanese Gardens at Terrace Park have endured many glories and hardships since they were first envisioned in 1928 by the park’s caretaker, Joseph Maddox. In 1918, Maddox was hired on as caretaker of what would become Terrace Park. Maddox also was in charge of creating the terraces that became the park’s namesake. While taking a correspondence course in landscape work, Maddox came upon the concept of a Japanese garden. He gathered interesting stones from the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains near Sheridan, Wyo., for the flower pots he placed along the trail and sourced smooth round stones from a trout stream near Cody, Wyo. He also obtained oddly shaped stones from all corners of South Dakota. The rough landscaping and shaping of the garden was done by city work relief programs. Six years after Maddox began the project, the Japanese Gardens were finally finished, and the work was amazing. In 1934, Maddox’s brainchild was awarded Better Homes and Gardens Magazine’s More Beautiful America Award.

After the Japanese attacked the U.S. Naval base in Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941, there was no shortage of anti-Japanese sentiment. This feeling extended to Maddox’s Japanese Gardens. The tranquility of the garden was interrupted by vandalism and further damaged by years of neglect. In 1988, a group of concerned citizens gathered to take Maddox’s garden under their wing. They formed the Shoto Teien Japanese Garden committee. They enlisted the aid of Ben Chu, an arborist from St. Louis who specializes in Japanese gardens. He’s been coming to Sioux Falls for 22 years to help the committee gently guide the garden into the peaceful place it is today. (from the Argus Leader, Dec 23, 2015)
For more info:
https://thewalkingtourists.com/japanese-gardens-add-to-the-beauty-of-sioux-falls/


Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum

This haven of nature is only minutes east of Downtown Sioux Falls. With a variety of wetlands, woodlands, ponds, gardens and native prairie grasses and plants, the Arboretum is a joy to walk. The educational center gives a glimpse into our history and an opportunity to learn about our environmental future.

The Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum and East Sioux Falls Historic Site began as a dream. A local visionary for the environment, Mary Jo Wegner imagined a natural haven in Sioux Falls like others enjoy in major cities. The Arboretum provides recreation and education. A living link to the past and a great stake in our future, the Arboretum will help future generations foster a relationship with the environment while sharing a story of how earlier cultures interacted with the natural world. (excerpt from Arboretum website)
For more info:
http://www.maryjowegnerarboretum.com/


Good Earth State Park

Good Earth State Park southeast of Sioux Falls is an important cultural and historical site as well as a unique nature retreat adjacent to the most developed and populated part of our state. The site itself is one of the oldest sites of long-term human habitation in the United States. The river, abundant wildlife, fertile flood plains, availability of pipestone (catlinite) and protection from winds made the area an important gathering place for seasonal ceremonies and a significant trading center for many tribal peoples from 1300 - 1700 A.D.

During this time, occupants were primarily Oneota Tradition Peoples, including Omaha, Ponca, Ioway and Otoe, but many other tribes were attracted and participated in trading agricultural product as well as hides, pelts and pipestone (catlinite). This is the largest Oneota cultural site discovered to date in the upper Midwest. There are two other significant Oneota cultural sites located respectively in southwest Iowa and central Missouri. (from Good Earth State Park website).
For more info: https://visitsiouxfalls.com/things-to-do/directory/good-earth-state-park-at-blood-run/


Falls Park

Falls Park is located north of downtown Sioux Falls. The park covers 123 acres and an average of 7,400 gallons of water drops 100 feet over the course of the Falls each second. It includes the visitor information center and observation tower, Falls Overlook Cafe, the Queen Bee Mill, several permanent sculptures and an open-air shelter. (from TravelSouthDakota.com)

The falls are thought to have been formed by the last ice age, and areas near the falls were inhabited for thousands of years by American Indians. The first documented visit was by explorer, trapper and trader Philander Prescott, who camped at the falls in 1832. Land companies claimed sites near the falls during the 1850s as Americans pushed westward. The mass settlement of Sioux Falls finally began in earnest in 1873. In 1878, Richard Pettigrew (who later served as a U.S. senator) and an investor built a mill near the falls to mill grain for area farmers. It operated from only 1881 to 1883. The mill was doomed, apparently, by a short supply of wheat and insufficient water power. Today, the ruins of the Queen Bee Mill are preserved for modern visitors to Falls Park. Sioux Falls Power and Light capitalized on the falls in 1908 by constructing a building that housed hydroelectric generators. The plant operated until the 1970s. The building has since been converted to a restaurant known as the Falls Overlook Café. (from SouthDakota.com)
For more info:
https://visitsiouxfalls.com/things-to-do/falls-park/

 


Directions to Friday tours, Good Earth State Park Evening Social & Sunday Brunch:

(There are many ways to get to each event; this is provided in case you don’t have another form of navigation.)

Japanese Gardens at Terrace Park (2:30 Friday)
707 N. Grange Ave.
Directions from SDSU Regional Center: 8 minutes, 2.5 miles
Exit SDSU Regional Center parking lot, turn left and head west to Cliff Ave .5 mi
Turn right onto Cliff Ave and head north .2 mi
Take second left onto E 6th St and head west 1.3 mi
Turn right onto N Prairie Ave and head north .4 mi
Take 4th left onto W 2nd St and head west to Gardens parking lot .1 mi
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum (4:00 Friday)
1900 S. Perry Place
Directions from SDSU Regional Center: 10 minutes, 5.3 miles
Exit SDSU Regional Center parking lot, turn right and head east to Lowell .2 mi
Take 3rd right onto Lowell Ave .1 mi
Take 1st left onto E 10th St/SD 42 and head east 4.9 mi
Turn left onto Perry Place and proceed to Visitor Center .1 mi
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Good Earth State Park (Registration at 5:30, Social Hour at 6:00 Friday)
26924 480th Ave.
Directions from SDSU Regional Center: 17 minutes, 9.8 miles
Exit SDSU Regional Center parking lot, turn right and head east to Lowell Ave .2 mi
Take 3rd right onto Lowell Ave and head south .1 mi
Take 1st left onto E 10th St/SD 42 and head east 2.3 mi
Turn right onto SD 11/Veterans Parkway and head south 3.8 mi
Turn left onto CR 102/269th St and head east 2.0 mi
Turn right onto CR 135/480th Ave .2 mi
Turn left into Good Earth State Park and proceed to Visitor Center 1.2 mi
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Falls Overlook Cafe (9:00 am Sunday)
825 N. Weber Ave.
Directions from SDSU Regional Center: 4 minutes, 1.5 miles
Exit SDSU Regional Center parking lot, turn left and head west to Cliff Ave .5 mi
Turn right onto Cliff Ave and head north .4 mi
Turn left onto E 3rd St and head west .4 mi
Turn right onto N Weber Ave and head north .1 mi
Turn left into Falls Park & proceed to Café parking lot .1 mi
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………