Our Work

Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Confluence was selected to update an existing master plan and begin phased design implementation. Located on the east side of Sioux Falls, the park site was once the site of the now abandoned town of East Sioux Falls. Rich with quarrying history and adjacent to the Perry Nature Native Plant Community Area, the site is abundant in interpretive opportunities.

The first phase included realignment of the entrance road and the addition of a bermed landscape median, monument entrance sign and pervious pavement parking lot. Stormwater runoff is directed to a detention basin planted with native vegetation. The stonecutter’s garden features an ornamental tree collection and the tree education circle includes tree growth markers for a comparison of tree growth rates across planting type and species. Site lighting and trail improvements were incorporated throughout, addressing both safety concerns and accessibility across the site.

Phase Two consists of a schoolhouse building with both modern and historical indoor classroom, rentable gathering spaces, and the Arboretum’s formal gardens. Confluence was responsible for the design of all site work including both the formal knot garden and wedding lawn, a pond (to handle geothermal discharge from the building and house future water plantings), building patio and lawn areas for events, a monument entry sliding gate and donor wall, and a number of tree, shrub, and perennial collection plantings.

Interpretive signage, located throughout the site, is focused on both historical and plant educational themes. Strategically placed in relation to the site’s plant communities or existing archaeological features, signs are intended to give park visitors a snapshot of the educational opportunities available at the Arboretum. Confluence was responsible for site design, construction documents and administration. In addition, the firm was responsible for all interpretive element design, detailing, and graphic design. Interpretive themes and narratives were developed in collaboration with the local Siouxland Heritage Museum, Augustana College’s Archaeology Lab team and local historians. The resulting graphics and text tell a story that are of interest to, and understood by, visitors of all ages.

Future phases of the Arboretum are anticipated to add a great lawn, trail to link the project to existing bike trails, additional plantings and water features with a boardwalk in the formal garden, an enhanced pergola and wedding garden, Children’s Garden, Woodland Garden, Native American Garden, and ongoing additional interpretive elements and signage as well as diverse plantings throughout the site.