The Make Gunderson Park Great Again Project

Centerville’s “Make Gunderson Park Great Again Project” is a collaborative community effort to revitalize Centerville South Dakota’s oldest and most historic park. Gunderson Park, or “The Beach” as it is maybe more commonly known, is the planned end destination for an already funded community recreational trail and bike path. The trail is scheduled for completion in 2017. The Make Gunderson Park Great Again Project will allow us to give the community an appealing recreational destination for its planned trail that will run through town and out to Gunderson Park.


Currently, Gunderson Park allows primitive camping but really lacks facilities and basic amenities to attract park goes to the space. A steering and planning committee for this project has been formed that is looking to identify funds and raise money in order to purchase basic conveniences for the park. The project will have an impact on our community as well as the surrounding southeastern South Dakota region as the renovation will help attract outdoor enthusiasts from around area. Our project will add value to the park by allowing us to add amenities that will make the space more appealing for recreational use.


In its heyday, Gunderson Park was the place for everything from swimming and recreation, to fishing, to picnics, to meetings and celebrations. The park was home to bath houses, concession stands, and a clubhouse. Patrons could enjoy benches, swings, teeter-totters, a maypole, and even large waterslides dumping into the swimming area.

Sadly, over the years, time and Mother Nature were not good to Gunderson Park. Several seasons of flooding gradually started to destroy the park’s amenities and wooden structures. Park repair and clean-up days were held by community members but deterioration, vandals, and flood waters had taken its toll on the park.


Today, the planning committee for this project has a vision of revitalizing the park. This time around we wouldn’t be talking concession stands and waterslides, but one can certainly envision picnic areas and benches, camping spots and fire pits, recreational play areas and trails. Locals would head down there again to let their kids run and play and then later enjoy a picnic. People from around the region and neighboring towns would come to Gunderson again, maybe not to swim in the river, but to camp, bike, kayak, and fish. 


For more information on how you can help be involved in the revitalisation of Gunderson Park contact Jared Hybertson at



Read more about the history of Gunderson Park and our project


Centerville’s Gunderson Park. What it on[...]
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