Hiltunen Recognized by SD Parks and Recreation Association

November 2, 2017
Hiltunen Receives her award from Lynn Spomer of GFP.
Hiltunen Receives her award from Lynn Spomer of GFP.

ierre, S.D. - The South Dakota Association of Parks and Recreation (SDPRA) recently awarded South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) employee, Katy Hiltunen, with the 2017 Young Professional Award. Hiltunen was recognized for her enthusiasm and support of parks and recreation in the state, both in her role as a GFP visitor services team member and as an active board member of SDPRA.

"In her short professional career, Katy has already demonstrated an outstanding level of enthusiasm for the field of parks and recreation in South Dakota," said Lynn Spomer, visitor services director with GFP’s division of parks and recreation. "Katy was the student representative for SDPRA while she was in college. After graduation, she became a full-time staff member of the Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, and was elected as a member at large for the SDPRA board of directors. She always provides input at board meetings and has great ideas."

Hiltunen started her career in the field in college, working at Lake Thompson Recreation Area, Custer State Park and West Whitlock Recreation Area in various capacities as a seasonal employee and intern. She became a full-time employee at the Pierre office a little over a year ago. Her duties include monitoring the Point of Sale system for the division of parks and recreation, auditing the yearly sales from that system, helping staff navigate the camping reservation system, signage throughout the state parks, and working special events.

Hiltunen is originally from Howard, S.D., and graduated from South Dakota State University in 2015 with a degree in sport, recreation and park management.

Each year, the South Dakota Parks and Recreation Association recognizes organizations and individuals for their work and dedication to communities through parks and recreation. Awards are selected by past and present SDPRA board members composed of parks and recreation professionals throughout the state. The awards encourage dedication and support to the field of parks and recreation. To learn more, visit


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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