The Outdoor Campus - East
In the museum you'll find wonderful dioramas of South Dakota's outdoor habitats... a prairie, an eastern South Dakota woodland, a wetland, agricultural lands and even a backyard landscape!
Mounted Canada geese fly through the building from the entrance, guiding visitors into the museum. They fly through the museum, overhead, guiding visitors past several habitat areas and into the wetland where the final goose is shown landing in the water. Nearby, you can see a muskrat near his hut, a pintail duck and a few mallards swimming.
The center-piece of the room is the 3,000 gallon streambank aquarium. It is filled with native species of fish found in typical warm water lakes in South Dakota. Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Perch, Bluegills, Catfish and Crappie are often temporary inhabitants of the tank. We feed the fish on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. Visitors often stop to see how and what our fish like to eat.
Looking into the aquarium, you will feel like you are in a cutaway of a streambank. Roots protrude into the water from the bank of the stream. You'll often find several Perch and Crappie tucked into the roots, staying away from the predator fish like the Northern Pike.
About 300 gallons of water rotate in and out of the aquarium every minute! Each week, our aquarium maintenance staff changes 300 gallons of water, too. It's a difficult task to keep a tank this big squeaky clean!
What Do I Hear?
As you walk through the museum, your motion triggers our sound system.
When you walk by the woodland diorama, listen for the sounds of a deer walking through the woods, a turkey gobbling, a Great Horned Owl, a Yellow Bellied Sapsucker and more!
Near the wetland you'll hear geese flying by, ducks quacking, a muskrat splashing, a Red-Winged Blackbird and more! Listen carefully for all the sounds in the museum!