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GFP News - May 15, 2017


Good earth state park visitor center dedication event this friday

Pierre, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) will host a public dedication and ribbon-cutting event for the new visitor center at Good Earth State Park this Friday, May 19, beginning at noon CDT.

Speakers at the event are set to include Gov. Dennis Daugaard, Jeff Scherschligt from the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation Board and tribal representatives, who will provide the opening blessing and closing prayer.
Visitors are reminded that this is an outdoor event and to bring lawn chairs.

According to GFP Secretary Kelly Hepler, the new visitor center features an array of opportunities, including an interactive Oneota culture exhibit, state-of-the-art theater that showcases a 20-minute film about the park's history and a large classroom for park programs. Guided hikes will be available and the film will be shown continuously until 5 p.m. that day.

The visitor center will be open to the public following the dedication ceremony.

"Good Earth State Park is a cultural and historical landmark," stated Secretary Hepler. "It is dotted with artifacts and lands of archaeological importance; the landmark is the largest and most significant repository of Oneota culture and history in the world. The new visitor center enhances the educational experience to those who journey back in time understanding the significance of this great place. Visitors will also forget they are only minutes from downtown Sioux Falls."

The event coincides with the department’s annual open house weekend, May 19-21, 2017, which offers free entrance to all state parks and recreation areas during that time. The park entrance license requirement will go into effect for Good Earth State Park beginning May 22, 2017.

Good Earth State Park is located 15 minutes southeast of downtown Sioux Falls by heading east on 26th Street. Then turn right (south) on to Hwy 11, take a left turn (east) onto 69th Street and then travel two miles to the stop sign and turn right (south) onto 480th Avenue. The entrance is located .3 miles on the left (east). The physical address is 26924 480th Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57108 and the GPS coordinates are N 43.29.157 W 096.36.519.


Gfp offers free entrance and free fishing may 19-21

Pierre, S.D. - The unofficial kickoff to summer begins this weekend with the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) annual Open House and Free Fishing Weekend May 19-21. The statewide event waives entrance fees and allows free fishing for residents and nonresidents.

All state park and recreation areas will be open for use without entrance fees during the three day event. The event allows anglers to fish without a license statewide. Fishing regulations and limits as well as camping fees still apply. Parks will also be offering daily activities to celebrate the event.

Friday, May 19

Saturday, May 20

Camping reservations at South Dakota State Parks can be made 24 hours a day. Make reservations online at or by calling 1.800.710.2267.

Visit for more information or to see a complete list of state parks and events.


GFP Mission: The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks provides sustainable outdoor recreational opportunities through responsible management of our state’s parks, fisheries and wildlife by fostering partnerships, cultivating stewardship and safely connecting people with the outdoors.

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