- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Nearly 200 students so far have used a free pass to state parks provided to every fourth-grader in South Dakota in May.

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department said Monday that the passes are meant to encourage students get exposed to natural resources and promote healthy habits.

The program, which is also in partnership with the state Department of Health, has distributed a free pass to a state park to 12,000 fourth-grade students for use with their families.

State Division of Parks and Recreation Director Doug Hofer says more students and their families should take advantage of the free pass.

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