Good Earth is located within Blood Run National Historic Landmark, which is considered one of the oldest areas of long-term habitation in the country. We purchased the acreage and held it until federal funds became available, allowing the agency to acquire the parcel from the Fund in 2014.  The park was officially dedicated by the Department in July 2013.

Why This Project Matters

For centuries, the northeast corner of Iowa and the southeast corner of South Dakota have been a significant hub for ancient as well as modern civilizations. The location of Good Earth State Park is considered the most important Oneota cultural site in the Midwest.  The Oneota, and the Native Americans who came before them, were drawn to this forested land along the Big Sioux River for its abundance of food and shelter resources, making it a vibrant place of trading and ceremonial activity. 

The Forest Legacy Program, administered by the USDA Forest Service and funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), works with state agencies and local landowners to protect environmentally important forests that are threatened with conversion to non-forest uses.  South Dakota competed nationally with 63 other projects and was one of 20 selected for 2013 Forest Legacy funding. The Forest Legacy funding and additional funds provided by the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation were used by the Department to acquire this forestland from the Fund for the park in 2014. 

“The cultural, educational, natural beauty and opportunity for outdoor activities of this site [are] of immeasurable significance to our state and the nation. The opportunity to preserve this resource is a testament to the effort of so many agencies, organizations and individuals that shared this vision.”
—South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard.

Good Earth State Park


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