City seeking to install lighting system along Dry Run Creek trail

The path at Dry Run Creek Park where the city is seeking install a lighting system for night time path users. (Matt Gade / Republic)

One of Mitchell’s busiest trails in the heart of the city could be lit up at night for bicycle enthusiasts and trail walkers to clearly see their path.

The Parks and Recreation Department recently kicked off its fundraising efforts to install a series of lights along the trail stretching from Burr Street to Sanborn Boulevard. At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Mitchell City Council approved the Parks and Recreation Department’s request to apply for a grant through the state’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which could fund up to half of the $103,000 project.

While the funding efforts have begun, Parks and Recreation Director Nathan Powell noted the trail light project is anticipated for completion in 2022. That means the project is not included in the 2021 budget. If the city is awarded the grant, Powell said it would require a 50% local match.

“The local match can be in-kind contributions, which could allow us as the city to conduct most of the work ourselves and hopefully save some funds,” Powell said.

Although adding lights to the trail was identified as a goal that was a part of the 2018 Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Powell pointed to the wide use that the trail experiences as another reason to get the project in motion.


With the popularity of bike trail riding, Powell said installing lights to the widely used trail will allow more night time access and add safety.

According to Powell, the city intends to install lights along the remainder of the Dry Run Creek trail from Sanborn Boulevard to Minnesota Street, which would provide lights for the entire trail. However, the first installment of lights is what the grant funds will be allocated for. Powell said the city could complete the second phase of the light installation project in 2022.

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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