605 Outdoor Wonders: The Outdoor Campus

By Anna Stritecky

Images courtesty of The Outdoor Campus

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The Outdoor Campus is an establishment in itself when comparing the location to other South Dakota gems. Even though The Outdoor Campus is beautiful, they also have a tremendous educational aspect to their land. This location provides dozens of services that let residents and tourist both immerse themselves in the outdoors.

The Outdoor Campus is a joint project of the South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Parks and the City of Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Department. The experiences with the natural landscape of South Dakota mixed with the South Dakota Outdoor Museum that includes a 3,000 gallon aquarium along with two miles of walking trails, geocaching and hands-on “try-it” events and classes makes for a phenomenal location in Sioux Falls and Rapid City both. Despite the beautiful outdoors, everyone can learn a little something outside of nature.

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Dylan Seaman, 8, kayaks during South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks 5th annual Outdoor University Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015, at the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls. The goal of the event is to give people a chance to try different kinds of outdoor activities in one day, said Outdoor Campus director Thea Miller Ryan. Ryan said that last year's Outdoor University had just under 3,000 participants. "We're expecting 3,000," Ryan said about this year's attendance. "I think it might end up being more," Ryan said.

In the past, I have had the chance to actually attend a couple different outdoor classes, especially when I was younger. These classes come with vivid memory, proving how unique they are to Sioux Falls and how much they are teaching children. The Outdoor Campus offers classes such as archery, canoeing, and DIY bird feeders, along much more. This time around, my experience with the outdoor campus was a bit more low key, enjoying the grounds versus the education.

After walking around the trails and pond, we took some kayaks along the stream and basked in the greenery. To my surprise, the experience made me feel like I was on the outside of the city, even though I was in the middle of it. The trails were not crowded, the land was kept very clean and it made you feel surrounded with the outdoors. The outdoor campus is not only another piece of land in the middle of the city, but instead one that everybody can find something to enjoy.

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Related: 

605 Outdoor Wonders: Palisades State Park

605 Outdoor Wonders: Spearfish Canyon

605 Outdoor Wonders: McKennan Park 

605 Outdoor Wonders: Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum 

Meet the Interns: Anna Stritecky