South Dakota is going to have a new state park. Tuesday, state lawmakers gave final approval of a bill designating the Blood Run nature area along the Big Sioux River southeast of Sioux Falls as Good Earth State Park. Many feel this designation is long overdue because it'll be the first state park created in more than 50 years.
Many people have called it one of the hidden jewels of South Dakota.
The 600-acre site along the Big Sioux River bordering Iowa, known as Blood Run, was once used by thousands of Oneota Indians in the early 1700s.
The area includes a large oak forest, rolling hills, flood plains, riverside bluffs and burial mounds.
In the fall, the park offers some spectacular and breath-taking views.
Officials plan to build a visitors' center and make other improvements to the site using $2 million in state funds, $2 million in matching private donations and $1 million from the state Game, Fish and Parks Department.
Blood Run was designated a national historic landmark back in 1970. But now as a newly designated state park, many are hoping the secret is out and outdoor enthusiasts will take in all the beauty Good Earth State Park has to offer.
Good Earth State Park has the governor's support and will become South Dakota's 13th state park.