SPEARFISH, SD – A portion of the Spearfish rec path from Brady Park to Lions Park has newly installed solar-powered lighting, thanks to a partnership between the City and Spearfish Lions Club.
Photo caption(s): The Spearfish Lions Club partnered with the City of Spearfish to fund a project to install solar-powered lighting along the rec path from Brady Park to Lions Park. From left, Lions Club member Kade Welfl, Spearfish Parks and Recreation Director Tyler Ehnes, and Lions Club members Todd Jensen and Jim Rarick are pictured near one of the newly installed solar-powered light poles in Lions Park. Photos courtesy City of Spearfish
“Our mission is vision, and this (project) ties in directly with vision, and I think that’s why the club was in such support of it,” Lions Club Past President Kade Welfl said, describing that the idea is to continue the lighting of the rec path through the north end of town, towards Jorgensen and Evans parks.
The Lions Club is a charitable community organization, and Lions Club member Todd Jensen explained a memorial donation from his parents, Larry and Sharon Jensen, following his father’s passing, spurred the club to look for an impactful project in the community to support. When the idea to light the rec path was proposed, the membership was excited, given the project’s connection to the club’s mission of sight, health, and overall community betterment.
“It’s a huge safety item,” Jensen said of lighting the rec path, which is used by multiple users, including children on their way to and from school.
“It gets dark right away in the winter months when the kids are in school, and they leave their sporting event, their practice, or whatever, and it’s dark. … This lighting should help (provide a safer environment for pedestrians using the rec path when it gets dark early).”
Spearfish Parks and Recreation Director Tyler Ehnes agreed that the lights will extend the usage of the rec path in the wintertime, as the routes are popular for users of various modes of transportation all year long. He described that the solar panels and light pole were designed and engineered to provide light 365 days per year. A light study was conducted to determine the height of the poles, size of the solar panels and batteries, and locations along the rec path to ensure the lights would be powered every day.
“There’s no electricity, there are no wires in the ground, there’s no conduit … no electricity bills,” Parks and Recreation Director Ehnes said, describing each light pole’s system generates power from the sun.
The approximately $100,000 project was jointly funded 50-50 by the Lions Club and the City.
“I think they turned out great,” Welfl said of the newly installed solar-powered lights.
“I think we accomplished our goal. If you come down here at night, you’re going to see the path is really well lit, and it makes it a lot more comfortable.”
Users are reminded the Spearfish City Parks close at 10 p.m.
For more information about the Spearfish Lions Club, visit https://www.facebook.com/SpearfishLions/.