Gov. Rounds Proclaims June as Great Outdoors Month

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PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Mike Rounds has proclaimed June as Great Outdoors Month in South Dakota.

In the proclamation, Gov Rounds states, outdoor recreation is an essential component of our well-being, with the ability to improve our health and build the human spirit.  I encourage citizens and our visitors to take advantage of the many opportunities our state offers for family outdoor recreation.

Many opportunities for outdoor activities are provided by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks in their efforts to expand and enhance state parks, protect our wildlife heritage, and create programs such as “No Child Left Inside” which introduces youngsters to the wonders of the outdoors.

Several notable outdoor recreation opportunities will take place in June, including the following events:

  • National Trails Day, June 7 – A day set aside to celebrate America’s magnificent trail systems and their countless supporters and volunteers. Several state parks will be hosting trail-related events that day. Info: or
  • Second Saturday Bird Walk, June 7, Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls. Join a naturalist for a 7:30 a.m. stroll through Sertoma Park in search of birds. Sharpen your visual and auditory birding skills, learn birding tricks and how to choose binoculars and field guides. The class is free, but pre-registration is required at or call (605) 362-2777. The Outdoor Campus offers many outdoor-related classes year round. Info: (605) 362-2777.
  • Capitol Community Celebration, June 11, State Capitol Complex in Pierre. One of the highlights of this annual free community picnic is a rare opportunity for kids to fish in Capitol Lake. All kids aged 15 and under are invited. Bait, volunteers and limited equipment will be available. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. and wraps up with a band concert at 7 p.m. Info: (605) 773-6320.
  • Luce Pioneer Day, June 14, Lake Herman State Park near Madison. The event celebrates the original homesteading pioneers with family activities, entertainment, vendors and historical demonstrations. Info: (605) 256-5003.
  • National Get Outside Day, June 14, Oahe Downstream Recreation Area near Pierre/Fort Pierre. Participants will enjoy fun family activities all day, including geocaching, fishing-golf, Dutch oven cooking and other outdoor activities. The activities run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the event closes with an outdoor movie at 9:30 p.m. Info: (605) 223-7722.
  • Becoming an Outdoor Family, June 20-22, Chief White Crane Recreation Area near Yankton – This annual weekend workshop offers classes on outdoor cooking, fishing techniques, GPS units (Global Positioning System), canoeing and many other outdoor skills. Registration is $50 per family and will be accepted until June 9 or until openings are filled. Info: (605) 773-3930.
  • SDSU Bioblitz, June 28, Oak Lake Field Station near Brookings. Participate in an educational program and a scientific survey combined into one day. The objective is for scientists to count all the species of plants and animals they can find in a given area in a fixed amount of time. Come out and hike the field station grounds and see science in action. Ask biologists questions about how and why they study our local plants and animals. Presentations and displays are scheduled throughout the day. Info: (605) 367-8384.
  • No Child Left Inside Resource Packs, ongoing, Pierre. Want to learn more about the outdoors while you’re exploring? GFP and the Rawlins Library in Pierre have teamed up to provide loaner packs full of resource materials designed for outdoor explorations. Packs include field guides, binoculars, insect nets, magnifying glasses and more. Info: Rawlins Library (605-773-7421) for family/individual backpacks; GFP (605-773-2541) for group resource trunk. 

In addition, across the state a number of outdoor programs will be held in state parks throughout June, including bird walks, outdoor cooking demonstrations, hikes, fishing derbies and nature programs. For a list of upcoming events, visit