The Outdoor Campus - West
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: With all of the current budget cuts, how can the State afford to build this place?
A: An important piece of this answer is to understand where the SDGFP division of Wildlife receives its funding. The Division's primary income is from the sale of hunting & fishing licenses, followed by a federal manufacturer's tax on hunting & fishing equipment. The Division receives no funds from the State general sales tax) fund. Four years prior to construction, the GFP Commission starting setting aside funds for this project. This was during years where our income exceeded our expenses. Thus, this facility was built using no State general fund dollars and without needing a loan. A local group also raised additional funds through the SD Parks & Wildlife Foundation. More information on the Division of Wildlife's budget and revenue
Q: What does it cost to come to The Outdoor Campus?
A: There is no cost to visit The Campus. More information on the Division of Wildlife's budget and revenue
Q: Can I reserve the facility for my wedding or birthday party?
A: You are more than welcome to bring your family and friends out for a visit, but we do not offer wedding, reunion or birthday party services. Classrooms are not reservable and outdoor facilities are available on a first come, first served basis, with priority use given to our scheduled programs and events. The exception to the classroom use policy allows conservation or outdoor organizations to hold meetings here.
Q: Can I bring my dog?
A: Dogs are welcome to accompany their families on the trails at The Outdoor Campus-West. We ask that all dogs be kept on leash and be cleaned up after. Only service dogs (or service dogs in training) are permitted inside the building.
Q: What are those funny looking birds we see there?
A: Most likely, you're talking about Guinea Fowl. These are domesticated chicken-like birds from Africa. One of our neighbors has a flock of these to help with grasshopper & insect control and they like to jump the fence onto The Outdoor Campus.
Q: Do you rent out equipment?
A: We do have what we call Critter Crates that we loan out to groups, schools and individuals. There is no charge to borrow the Crate, but we do require a $75 deposit on the intact return of the kit. Crates are usually loaned out for 2-week periods. Our current inventory of Crates includes:
- Elk Crate
- Cougar Crate
- Bat Crate
- Critter Crate (a variety of hides, skulls and tracks)
Q: How long are the trails?
A: The grand total length of our trail system is a bit over 1.5 miles. Most of the trail surface is hard-packed and is wheelchair and stroller friendly.