RAPID CITY, S.D. – SDSU Extension and South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks welcome Cheyenne Parke as the new SDSU Extension 4-H Outdoor Education Program Manager for the Outdoor Campus – West in Rapid City.
This is a new partnership between Extension and GFP, and Outdoor Campus Directors David Parker (Sioux Falls) and Lacy Elrod (Rapid City) said in a joint statement they are excited for the opportunity. "Both organizations value nature, wildlife and wise recreation, making these positions and their educational efforts a perfect fit," they said.
Parke graduated from Black Hills State University in Spearfish with a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Education. She previously worked as a naturalist intern at the Outdoor Campus – West and as a naturalist at the Miami County Park District in her home state of Ohio.
In her role, Parke will focus on school programs, teaching students about hunting, fishing, and outdoor skills like nature identification, snowshoeing, and hiking.
“We lead very hands-on classes so that students get a great understanding,” Parke said.
A career in Outdoor Education was a natural fit for Parke, who grew up in rural Ohio and enjoys spending her time deer and pheasant hunting, hiking, and camping. A 4-H alumnus as well, Parke showed market goats and hogs and various non-livestock projects and served as a 4-H camp counselor for four years.
“I have always loved the outdoors and am very passionate about educating others on it,” Parke said. “I’m excited to share that passion with the youth in our surrounding schools.”
SDSU Extension 4-H County Operations and Professional Development Program Manager Oakley G. Perry said Parke’s education, experience, and love of the outdoors make her an exciting addition to the team.
“4-H is so excited to have Cheyenne join our team. Cheyenne is a former 4-H member from Ohio and has a passion for outdoor education. She has taught classes on water recreation with pets to hunting skills for women and everything in between,” said Perry. “We can’t wait to see the important work she is going to do to inspire and teach the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts. Even more exciting is she will be doing this work alongside of GFP.”
For more information about 4-H and outdoor education at Outdoor Campus – West, contact Cheyenne Parke, SDSU Extension 4-H Outdoor Education Program Manager.