Hundreds gather to protest changes to Hilger’s Gulch park

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Opposition continues to grow to planned changes at Hilger's Gulch park on the South Dakota Capitol grounds in Pierre.

More than 200 people gathered Monday evening to protest the plan announced last month by Gov. Dennis Daugaard.

The initiative would replace Kentucky bluegrass in the park with native grasses, trees and shrubs. Daugaard's goal is to reduce maintenance, chemical use and expenses.

The state Bureau of Administration says a more native landscape in the park could save up to $50,000 annually in irrigation and maintenance costs.

Opponents say they like the park as it is and that changing it to a more native landscape also could attract pests such as snakes and skunks. They also question whether the plan would actually save taxpayer money.


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