The newest state park in South Dakota will be dedicated next week. The Game, Fish and Parks Department says Governor Dennis Daugaard will be on hand on Friday, July 19th, at 11:00 a.m. for the dedication of Good Earth State Park at Blood Run.

“We want to preserve this culturally significant site for future generations,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “By setting aside this land as a state park we will protect its natural beauty and provide an excellent educational opportunity about a site that was a peaceful Native American trading and ceremonial center for centuries.”

The park, near Rowena just southeast of Sioux Falls, will be the first new State Park in more than 40 years. Its designation as a State Park was approved by the Legislature earlier this year.

“Partnerships have been key to this project from the beginning,” said Doug Hofer, South Dakota State Parks Director. “The outpouring of support from both public and private entities bas been phenomenal.”

Good Earth State Park at Blood Run is part of the Blood Run National Historic Landmark.

GF&P says the site is one of the oldest sites of human habitation in the United States. It was an important Oneota tribal gathering and trading site from around 1300 to 1700 AD.