From the beginning of local discussion more than two years ago, we have supported creation of a recreational-vehicle campground in Sioux City because camping is popular, produces revenue, and generates visitors, and because we have no existing RV campground in our community. We believe a campground would contribute to local quality of life.
However, the proposal for a campground in the old stockyards area isn't what we had in mind.
A campground set amidst industrial plants, including a hog plant, a sewer lift station, an interstate highway and railroad tracks? Hmmm ...
Let's just say that's a long way from the scenic, quiet stretch along the Big Sioux River near Stone State Park once considered.
The city envisions a campground in the old stockyards as meeting a need for visitors to events at the planned agriculture center.
"The idea would be that the campground would help support the efforts of the expo center, especially during your agricultural events and shows," Matt Salvatore, the city's Parks and Recreation director, said for a Jan. 26 Journal story. "There's a lot of people who bring campgrounds or trailers to those types of events."
Fair enough. In fact, that makes sense.
Our fear, though, is the idea for an old stockyards campground will replace the idea for a campground where families would go to get away and enjoy outdoor relaxation in more traditional surroundings. That's an amenity Sioux City doesn't provide, but should.
In other words, we don't oppose creation of a campground near the proposed ag center, but we urge city leaders to keep discussion of a second, more-conventional campground alive.