Upcoming S.D. State Park Programs Provide Family Recreation and Education

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PIERRE, S.D. – Educational and recreational programming in South Dakota’s state parks is increasing as the summer season kicks into gear. On June 14, several parks will offer programs that allow visitors to join a guided hike, learn how to cook in a Dutch oven, or just enjoy a day of family fun.

  • National Get Outside Day, Oahe Downstream Recreation Area near Pierre/Fort Pierre, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants will enjoy fun family activities all day, including geocaching, fishing golf, Dutch oven cooking and other outdoor activities. The event closes with an outdoor movie at 9:30 p.m. Info: (605) 223-7722
  • West Bend Recreation AreaFamily Fun Day, West Bend Recreation Area near Pierre, 1 p.m. Bring the family and try out several different lawn games, including bocce, badminton, volleyball and more. Games will be available for checkout and staff can help you learn the rules. Info: (605) 773-2885
  • Game Time, Pickerel Lake Recreation Area near Waubay, 1 p.m. A number of outdoor activities are planned throughout the day, including sand volleyball, badminton, croquet, horseshoes, disc golf and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Participants can sign up that day to create teams or play on their own. Info: (605) 486-4753
  • Dutch Oven Gathering, North Point Recreation Area near Pickstown, 3 p.m. Experts, beginners and tasters alike are invited to learn tips and recipes from fellow Dutch oven cooks. Some equipment will be available and participants are encouraged to bring their own cookware. Afterwards, we’ll give our creations a try. Info: (605) 487-7046
  • CIS Animal Tracks, Yankton area parks—Lewis and Clark Recreation Area at 4:30 p.m. and Pierson Ranch Recreation Area at 7:30 p.m. Sharpen your nature sleuthing skills through several hands-on activities. Participants will be introduced to the tracks, furs and skulls of several different mammals they may see in the park, and take home some tracks of their own from a nature craft. The event will also be held earlier that weekend on Friday, June 13 at Chief White Crane Recreation Area at 7:30 p.m. Info: (605) 668-2985
  • Indian Creek Recreation Area Bird Watching Basics Walk in the Park, Indian Creek Recreation Area near Mobridge, 7 p.m. On this early evening walk, participants will look for and learn to identify birds common to the area. Some binoculars will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own. The program is part of the Walk in the Park series, which are co-sponsored by the SD Departments of Health and Education.Info: (605) 845-7112
  • Luau Weekend, Snake Creek Recreation Area near Platte. Join us for a day full of tropical-themed activities, such as a sand sculpture contest, a fruit kabob cooking demonstration, an outdoor movie and more. Info: (605) 337-2587

There is no cost to participate in any of these programs, although a park entrance license is required. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes, dress for the weather and use sunscreen and insect repellant. These programs are in addition to the regular programming held at the state parks and recreation areas.

For more information on activities in the SD state parks, visit www.SDparks.info, contact the individual park office, or call (605) 773-3391.