The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks will traditionally open up state parks for a weekend. This year, there’s an additional promotion to help get more families involved.

Visitor appreciation weekend will arrive May 15 through 17. It means free entrance to campgrounds and state parks along with free fishing that weekend.

Even though that is enticing in itself, a second opportunity will be fourth graders in all South Dakota elementary schools. Doug Hofer, State Park Director explains that this effort will include showcasing the parks along with adding a health component.

“We’re going to be giving away a free daily park entrance license to every fourth grader in South Dakota that they can use anytime between now through the end of the year with their family.” Hofer also says, “We’re really targeting fourth graders because that’s one of the most impressionable ages. We’re partnering with the Department of Health and the whole purpose of this is to get young people involved in healthy lifestyles.”

Fourth graders in all South Dakota public and private schools will get the voucher. Hofer estimates that number to be around 11,500 across the entire state. The free passes will be distributed during the first week in May.