Editorial Applauds New S.D. State Park
Editor’s Note: The following editorial appeared in the Sioux Falls, S.D., Argus-Leader and pertains to the signing of a bill on Wednesday (March 20) creating the 13th state park in South Dakota and the first since 1972.
South Dakota will witness history today when Gov. Dennis Daugaard signs the bill legislators passed earlier this year to create the first new state park since 1972 — Good Earth at Blood Run.
The bill designates both money and a name to the 600-acre hilly area along the Big Sioux River southeast of Sioux Falls.
While we especially are pleased that the new state park is in our back yard, the state has made an important commitment for all South Dakotans.
Creating a park that will be enjoyed now also is a gift for future generations. In this case, it preserves the area from other development and Sioux Falls’ sprawl, and it keeps a natural feel that goes back hundreds of years.
The Blood Run Nature Area was home to the Oneota culture, was a trading post from 1300 to 1700 and is one of the oldest sites of long-term human habitation in the country, according to the Game, Fish and Parks Department.
During the legislative session, we editorialized that we preferred the name Blood Run, which it has been called for years, over Good Earth.
But the name Blood Run still is part of the park’s formal name and is a minor factor compared with the bold step of creating a new park.
It’s appropriate that the governor will sign the bill today in Sioux Falls, close to the park. That easily allows local people who have helped make the park a reality attend and brings in others who are among the numerous leaders in the effort, including Dick Brown, former Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce president and development director of the Parks & Wildlife Foundation, Sioux Falls businessman Jeff Scherschligt and leaders at the GF&P.
Other state parks closest to Sioux Falls are some of the busiest in the summer, and adding one more place for people to enjoy is a significant step that will allow for more tourism, leisure fun, historical outings and preservation within a quick drive.
Good Earth will be South Dakota’s 13th state park, an important reminder that something such as this rarely happens.
We’re glad it has in our lifetime and for future generations.