SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -(Ammoland.com)- The National Association of State Park Directors formally recognized and awarded Good Earth State Park as this year’s recipient of the Ney Landrum Park History Award.
“On behalf of our team at Good Earth State Park and our entire department, we are grateful to be receiving the Ney Landrum Park History Award this year,” stated Katie Ceroll, director of the division of parks and recreation. “The park and the brand new visitor center reflect the team’s collaboration in research and presentation of this site’s history, which has allowed the historical and cultural preservation of the area to come to life for current and future generations.”
The park preserves a portion of a larger historically and culturally significant site referred to as Blood Run, which is a designated National Historic Landmark.
The location is the largest known Oneota (tribal) habitation discovered to date. As many as 10,000 indigenous people occupied it at its peak, from 1500 to the early 1700s, with villages stretched over four miles along the Big Sioux River in what is now Iowa and South Dakota.
Descendants now make up four different tribes, Ioway, Otoe, Ponca and Omaha, located in several states.
Honoring the site’s history, required collaboration and input from tribal people. The Good Earth team conducted interviews, researched legends and stories, analyzed artifacts, located family heirlooms, learned traditions and languages, and conducted focus groups.
Tribal historic preservation officers, tribal elders and other members of the descendant tribes provided information and oversight for accuracy.
The park includes over six miles of hiking trails and three viewing platforms. Future plans include a 200-person outdoor amphitheater and a pedestrian bridge over the Big Sioux River, connecting Good Earth to areas of Blood Run managed by Iowa.
The land acquisitions that make up the park and the facility were funded by state dollars and $8 million in private donations raised by the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation.
About the Ney Landrum Park History Award:
Ney Landrum was the director of the Florida State Parks from 1969 (when it became the Division of Recreation and Parks within Department of Natural Resources) to 1989. Before that, he was in charge of the Outdoor Recreation Development Council. He was a major influence on the national state park movement, and was director of the National Association of State Park Directors for several years. The award honors an individual or team that has displayed outstanding efforts in original research and presentation of state park history that results in a tangible work product.