ABERDEEN, SD (KELO) – The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks plans to begin research later this year on new management of the Spring Creek 18-hole golf course in Harrisburg.
The original intention was to develop public camping on a portion of the land which lies to the southwest of Good Earth State Park that department runs in Lincoln County, just south of Sioux Falls. But when the department’s nonprofit arm, the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation, in May 2015 purchased the two parcels totaling 194.4 acres on a 10-year contract for deedreal estate came with a catch.
The association of co-owners attached restrictive covenants which specifically prohibit, forever, any camping on the east side of the property where the owners live. Also prohibited on this side is any commercial or residential development or construction, as well as any drive-in camping dump station or construction of any temporary or permanent structure.
These covenants further prohibit for at least 20 years any camping development on the west side of the property. The clauses will be automatically renewed for periods of 10 years from 2025, unless all parties agree to modify them.
The foundation leased the course to private management for the next seven years. Al Nedved, deputy director of the state’s Parks and Recreation Division, spoke with South Dakota on Friday Game, Fish and Parks Commission to talk about the future of the site.
Nedved told the commissioners that the department was considering extending the golf deal for at least five or 10 years. He acknowledged that the department does not have expertise in the management of golf courses. He therefore began talks with several golf course operators in the region.
“It plays a part in the overall golf community in the Sioux Falls area,” Nedved said. As for other operators, he noted, “we saw some interest there.”
Nedved said the ministry plans to issue a request for proposals in the near future. Negotiations also began with the current course management on how personal assets might be handled and financial information regarding the course’s business operations.
“We’re sort of working on this settlement agreement,” Nedved said.
Good Earth State Park does not offer camping. Commissioner Robert Whitmyre of Webster asked if other places in the area could be set up for camping.
Nedved said Palisades State Park near Garretson is the closest. They are 25 miles apart. He said there were no other properties already in GFP’s portfolio.