State parks raise prices to help repair flood damage

Published: Feb. 15, 2020 at 1:49 PM CST
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Starting Saturday, there are over 40 State Parks across South Dakota that are open for camping reservations for Open House Weekend on May 15th.

Park Officials say there will be an increase in entrance rates and camping fees this year, but that extra money is needed after the flooding that South Dakota has seen the last couple of years.

District Park Supervisor, Luke Dreckman said, “Last two years, this last year especially, we had a lot of flood damage which is really wrecked havoc on our infostructure as well.”

Luke Dreckman is a District Park Supervisor and says the Palisades area is in need of some flood repair.

"Close to home here in Big Sioux and Brandon, we had to relocate a couple of cabins during the flood. Do some work around there from the flood damage to our campground and our electrical pedestals,” he said.

However, more State Parks across South Dakota are in need of flood repair as well, Dreckman says flooding even washed away a road at Lake Vermillion.

Besides the maintenance, the Palisades are starting a five-year expansion project this spring.

“We’ll be doing a lot of the habitat work this year, native grass plantings, pollinator plots, shelterbelts,” Dreckman added. “Late summer, early fall we’ll be putting in our road systems.”

If you’re looking to start your summer off with camping, Open House Weekend might be for you.

Dreckman said, “That is kind of the kick start to summer. Free entrance licenses into the park that weekend, and it’s basically the kick start to summer.”

Most South Dakota State Parks, like the Palisades, follow a 90-day reservation schedule. Which means you can reserve a camping spot 90 days in advance. For example, if you’re looking to camp at a State Park over Memorial Day weekend, those reservations become available on February 22nd.