(January 10th .. a day late due to traveling)
Today, we traveled to Sioux City to visit with Matt Salvatore at the Sioux City Parks and Recreation department. Matt, a UNI graduate, was also born and raised in the Parks and Recreation culture as his father served in the role of Park Superintendent for the City of Fort Dodge for 30 years.
After serving in the cities of Sheldon, Ida Grove, and Des Moines, Matt settled in Sioux City in 2014 where his time has been spent coordinating the creation of large Parks and Recreation projects as well as the day to day operations of the city's parks including up maintenance and scheduled events. His most recent project, Cone Park, was completed in December of 2017. At Cone Park, visitors can enjoy a warming house with a fireplace, an ice skating rink which doubles as a summer splash pad. The park also features a skiing and a tubing hill. Additionally, Matt is currently tackling the coordination of the 12 million dollar Sioux City Riverfront Project and a downtown Bomgaars Agricultural/Equestrian/Sports Arena.
While at the Parks and Rec headquarters, students met with Matt to discuss the ins and outs of such project coordination. He taught us about the process involving city government (Planning and Zoning and the City Council) as well as obtaining input from local citizens. He helped us to better understand the ropes for funding such projects using tax dollars as well as grants. We learned so much from Matt and we are grateful for his willingness to share his time and talents!!
Before leaving Sioux City, we toured the Riverfront Project site and the recently completed Cone Park! Beautiful work!! And what fun for the citizens of Sioux City!
And.... we checked out some playground equipment... (to experience the parks on a first hand basis and check out the aesthetics personally)!!