Efforts to preserve picturesque and historically significant acreage along the Big Sioux River are kicking into high gear in 2013.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard told lawmakers last week that he's introducing a bill to designate the 600-acre Blood Run nature area southeast of Sioux Falls as South Dakota's 13th state park.
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.
The site borders Iowa and was used by thousands of Oneota Indians into the early 1700s.
Blood Run opened for self-guided hikes and appointment-only tours this past summer, and Parks and Recreation Director Doug Hofer says the response has been overwhelming.
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