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Go Fourth Program Encourages South Dakota Youth to Get Outdoors

PIERRE, S.D. – Fifteen thousand fourth graders in South Dakota will get a special taste of summer freedom through the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks’ (GFP) “Go Fourth” program.

The “Go Fourth” program, presented in partnership with the South Dakota Department of Health, distributes free entrance licenses for one day in any South Dakota state park or recreation area to every fourth grade student in South Dakota. The student must be present for the pass to be valid.

The passes allow entrance to any South Dakota state park or recreation area to students and their families and include a free equipment rental – kayak, canoe, paddleboat, paddleboard or bicycle. Students who are unable to visit a park can use their pass for a free one-year subscription to GFP’s Conservation Digestmagazine.

“The program aims to give every fourth grade student exposure to local natural resources and a chance to start a lifetime of healthy habits,” said GFP secretary, Kelly Hepler. “The program will showcase activities and opportunities available at state parks and recreation areas, as well as events and educational programs taking place.”

The passes were distributed to all public and private schools the first week in May. Families can turn in the day-pass for a discount off of an annual pass. The passes are valid between the distribution date and Dec. 31, 2018.

A calendar of events happening in South Dakota state parks can be found online at

For more information about the “Go Fourth” program, call 605.773.3391 or email