Baird Park Campaign

The 2024 Leadership Aberdeen class met this week with the Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department Board of Directors to further discuss the Baird Park Sledding Hill Project. In February, the class kicked off a campaign to raise funds to make Baird Hill a safer, more usable sledding hill for families to frequent throughout the winter. They hope to purchase a snowmaker machine and snow groomer for use on the sledding hill.  The city has updated the master plan for Baird Park and work on the sledding hill would be phase one of that plan.  The Board of Directors officially approved the project moving forward with a memorandum of understanding to follow with fundraising deadlines, construction timelines, etc.


The total cost of the project has increased from initial discussions, with this phase estimated at $240,000. The class is hoping to raise $170,000 to cover the cost of the snowmaker machine and used snow groomer. The city would pay the rest of the cost to include bringing water and electricity to the site, parking lot improvements, fencing, signage, staffing, etc.

The impact this project will have on the community is significant.  Aberdeen does not have many outdoor winter activities.  Through research, we know that about 25% of the population in Aberdeen is under the age of 18.  The City of Aberdeen, and other community-based groups, have and are continuing to try to increase winter activities. It is viewed as a workforce retention and quality-of-life effort. We understand that our winters can be viewed negatively by some, so we need to do all we can to highlight the positives of living in Aberdeen and South Dakota during the winter months.

Having adequate, usable snow on the sled hill is the first step in the process. Once that is completed, the city hopes to continue investing in a variety of other winter activities at this location including a warming hut, cross-country ski trail, outdoor hockey/curling rink, etc.

The class has over $76,000 committed so far. If you would like more information on the project including the current master plan, sponsorship forms, etc. go to: https://aberdeen-chamber.com/events-programs/leadership-aberdeen/baird-sledding-hill-campaign/. If you need additional information, please reach out to the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce at info@aberdeen-chamber.com or (605) 225-2860.