The North Face Awards South Dakota GFP Explore Fund Grant

Explore Fund Program dedicates $500,000 getting more kids outside

Fort Pierre National Grassland South Dakota
Fort Pierre National Grassland South Dakota Pic: By Jerry Schumacher
South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks
South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks

South Dakota -( The North Face recently announced South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) as a winner of the 2015 Explore Fund grant for their new Go Fourth program.

“We are pleased to receive funding from North Face for this project,” said state park director Doug Hofer. “It is exciting to be part of the national effort to get children exploring the outdoors.”

In May, the Go Fourth program, presented by GFP in partnership with the South Dakota Department of Health, distributed free entrance licenses good for one day in any South Dakota state park to every fourth grade student in South Dakota. To date, over 400 students have redeemed their passes. The passes are good through December.

The North Face selected a total of 47 organizations engaging more than 30,000 people in outdoor recreation focusing on projects that use outdoor exploration as the catalyst for positive, personal or societal change, provide experiences that nurture an appreciation of the outdoors or encourage participants to try new outdoor activities that allow outdoor exploration and adventure. The Go Fourth program aims to give every South Dakota fourth grader exposure to local natural resources and a chance to start a lifetime of healthy habits. GFP was voted one of the top grantees for 2015, because of their mission to get children outdoors.

“It is exciting to see the incredible organizations who are just as passionate about giving more kids the opportunity to experience the outdoors as we are,” said Ann Krcik, senior director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “Together we are making an investment in the next generation of outdoor explorers who will grow to love and protect the wild places we all love to play.”

As part of its mission to start a global movement of Outdoor Exploration, The North Face introduced the Explore Fund ( in 2010 and the program has since provided more than $1.5 million in U.S. grants to more than 300 non-profit organizations committed to inspiring the next generation of outdoor explorers and conservationists.

This is the first year of GFP’s Go Fourth program. In addition to free park entrance for students and their families, the passes also include a free hour of kayak, canoe or paddleboat rental, where available.

To learn more about the Go Fourth Program visit