40 State Parks across South Dakota are now taking camping reservations for the free Open House Weekend from May 15 through 17, 2020.

Dakota News Now reports that entrance rates and camping fees will increase this year.  The extra fees will go toward repair flood damage from the last couple of years.

State Parks all across South Dakota are in need of flood repair, including a washed-out road at Lake Vermillion.

District ParkSupervisor, Luke Dreckman said, “Last two years, this last year especially, we had a lot of flood damage which is really wreaked havoc on our infrastructure.”

Dreckman says the Palisades area is in need of flood repair.

"Close to home here in Big Sioux and Brandon, we had to relocate a couple of cabins during the flood. Do some work around there from the flood damage to our campground and our electrical pedestals,” he said.

This spring, the Palisades will begin a five-year expansion project.

“We’ll be doing a lot of the habitat work this year, native grass plantings, pollinator plots, shelterbelts,” Dreckman added. “Late summer, early fall we’ll be putting in our road systems.”

The annual Open House Weekend includes free entrance to all South Dakota state parks and recreation areas statewide.

Dreckman said, “That is kind of the kick start to summer. Free entrance licenses into the park that weekend.”

It's also Free Fishing Weekend, fishing licenses are not required.

Most South Dakota State Parks follows a 90-day reservation schedule.  For instance, reservations for Memorial Day weekend become available on February 22nd.

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