Gov. Dennis Daugaard has joined with states nationwide to proclaim June as Great Outdoors Month.
In the proclamation, Gov. Daugaard states that a connection with nature is an essential component of our physical well-being – time outside combats obesity and diabetes, reduces stress levels, and decreases symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Many opportunities for outdoor activities are provided by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks in its efforts to expand and enhance state parks, protect our wildlife heritage, and create programs that introduce 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 2 – 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: www.gfp.sd.gov or www.AmericanHiking.org.
- National Fishing and Boating Week, June 2-10 – A national celebration of fishing and boating. National Fishing and Boating Week is the perfect reason to get out on the water and experience the joys of boating and fishing. Info: www.rbff.org
- Great American Backyard Campout, June 23 – An opportunity for everyone to re-live – or to experience for the first time – how much fun it is to spend a night sleeping under the stars and enjoying the sounds of nature. The Great American Backyard Campout is a national event that encourages individuals, youth, friends and families to camp out together for one night. Info: www.nwf.org/BackyardCampout
- Outdoor Expo, June 9-10 – The Fifth Annual South Dakota Outdoor Expo will be held at the State Fairgrounds in Huron. The Expo features hands-on activities aimed at introducing families to the many possibilities for recreation in South Dakota’s outdoors. Events include a pond for kayaking, fishing activities, geocaching, activities for small children, shooting activities, and many more. A joint effort by businesses, outdoor organizations and government agencies present programming. There is no entry or activity fee for taking part in the Expo. Info: 605-773-3904 or www.sdoutdoorexpo.com
- Luce Pioneer Day, June 9 – 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
- Becoming an Outdoor Family, June 22-24 – Lake Vermillion Recreation Area near Canistota. Becoming an Outdoor Family is a weekend full of fun, camping and outdoor activities. Families camp while learning their choice of several outdoor skills. Pre-registration is required. Info: http://gfp.sd.gov/outdoor-learning/BOF.aspx or 605-773-3391
In addition, a number of outdoor programs will be held across South Dakota in state parks during June, including bird walks, outdoor cooking demonstrations, hikes, fishing derbies and nature programs. For a list of upcoming events, visit www.gfp.sd.gov