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GFP News - August 15, 2013

  • South Dakota Completes First America's Great Outdoors Project In Midwest Region
  • State Parks Offer Weekend Programs

South Dakota Completes First America's Great Outdoors Project In Midwest Region

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- In addition to being South Dakota's newest state park, Good Earth State Park at Blood Run was recently recognized as the first America's Great Outdoors (AGO) project to be completed in the Midwest region.
Michael Reynolds, Midwest regional director, National Park Service, made the official presentation earlier this month to state park staff.

"The Blood Run National Historic Landmark Project in South Dakota is designated a keystone conservation and outdoor recreation project under President Obama's America's Great Outdoors program," said Reynolds. "We celebrate the partnerships and collaboration that resulted in this significant habitat protection."

President Obama launched the America's Great Outdoors Initiative in 2010 to develop a 21st century conservation and recreation agenda. The initiative encourages conservation solutions from the American people to protect their natural heritage and to strengthen the ties between both youth and families to nature and outdoor recreation.

Governor Daugaard selected the Blood Run National Historic Landmark project as one of South Dakota's two projects for the initiative. The project was selected for its cultural significance and an increased threat by population expansion and development.

The project became a reality this past March, when Gov. Daugaard signed legislation to create Good Earth State Park at Blood Run.

South Dakota's second project is the acquisition and preservation of the Dakota grasslands. To learn more about the America's Great Outdoors initiative, visit


State Parks Offer Weekend Programs

PIERRE, S.D. -- Schools are starting back up, but the weather is still warm. Take advantage of the last days of summer by attending a state park program.

  • Little Naturalist Program, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve near North Sioux City, Aug. 23, 10 a.m. The Little Naturalist program is for toddlers ages 2 to 4 years old and their parents or guardians.  Toddlers will learn about ducks through games, crafts, stories and songs.  Info/pre-register: 605- 232-0873
  • Nature Hike, Good Earth State Park at Blood Run near Sioux Falls, Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m. CDT and Aug. 24, 9 a.m. CDT. Just after the ice age ended over 800 years ago, many American Indians settled on the land that is now Good Earth State Park at Blood Run. But why did they settle here? Come learn why the American Indians called this land home for many years. This 2 mile hike will take you along tall grass prairies and large oak forest, allowing you to enjoy the wondrous beauty that is Good Earth State Park. Info: 605-987-2263 or, pre-registration: 605-362-2777 or
  • Kayaking for Fun, Randall Creek Recreation Area near Pickstown, Aug. 24, 9 a.m. CDT. Learn how to safely and effectively paddle a kayak. Kayaks provided. Bring your own personal floatation device if possible. Info: 605-487-7046
  • Frogs, Newton Hills State Park near Canton, Aug. 24, 11 a.m. CDT. Learn what an amphibian is and do a fun craft about a frog's life cycle. Info: 605-987-2263
  • GPS Scavenger Hunt, Fort Sisseton Historic State Park near Lake City, Aug. 24, 3 p.m. CDT. Learn GPS and geocaching basics. Some GPS units will be provided for use during the program. A scavenger hunt will be set-up and participants will use their GPS to find objects within the park. Children ages 11 and younger need to be accompanied by an adult. Info: 605-448-5474
  • Furry Friends, Newton Hills State Park near Canton, Aug. 24, 4 p.m. CDT. Learn about South Dakota's furry animals. Info: 605-987-2263
  • Dog-gone Fun Hike, Lewis and Clark Recreation Area near Yankton, Aug. 24, 7 p.m. CDT. Seaman, the lone dog on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, played a very important role along the journey. Bring your dog and learn about their adventures. Dogs must be on a leash. All ages welcome. Info: 605-668-2985

There is no cost to participate in the programs; however, a park entrance license is required to enter the parks.
For more information on South Dakota state parks and a calendar of events, visit or call 605-773-3391.


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