Celebrate National Park Week at Wind Cave National Park with badges, birds, and boxwork
WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD – Wind Cave National Park will be hosting a variety of activities during National Park Week beginning Saturday, April 16, and running through Sunday, April 24.
Rangers will be offering free tours on Saturday, April 16, with the first tour beginning at 9:30 a.m. and the last tour entering at 3:30 p.m. The Fairgrounds Tour will be offered at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. This 90-minute tour sees two different levels of the cave and has 450 steps. The hour-long Garden of Eden Tour will be at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and has 150 steps. All tours start from the visitor center. Reservations for these free tours can be made up to 3 days prior to the tour by visiting www.recreation.gov. There will also be tickets available Saturday on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visitors can see boxwork, a rare calcite formation, along both tours.
There will be two bluebird box building workshops on Saturday, April 16, beginning at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the park visitor center. Due to limited supplies, reservations are required for these programs, and participants are asked to bring their own hammer. Groups or families are encouraged to attend; supplies are limited to 1 box per family. Call 605-745-7020, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to make a reservation. The program is free of charge and sponsored by the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association.
On Tuesday, April 19, at 2 p.m. MDT there will be a program on the park’s Facebook page given by Dr. Josh Sebree, an Associate Professor with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Northern Iowa. With a grant from NASA, he is studying the cave’s unique low energy environment, which resembles environments found on other planets. His research will help NASA scientists better understand extraterrestrial life.
Throughout the week there will be a variety of social media posts on the park’s Facebook and Instagram platforms highlighting various aspects of the park. Kids and adults alike can also stop by and complete the park’s Junior Ranger booklet and earn a Wind Cave Junior Ranger badge.
In addition, there will be a Junior Ranger program offered Saturday, April 23, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will be able to stop by the visitor center to complete a scavenger hunt for a free prize along with a craft for kids to take home.
National Park Week is an annual national celebration of people, parks, trails, heritage areas, national trails and rivers, seashores, historic sites, and beautiful landscapes that together tell the story of our nation. Entrance fees at many national park sites across the nation will be waived on April 16.