Raider Park to feature Tom Pfeifle Trails after years of planning

Construction equipment is busy in Raider Park this week as the construction of the Tom Pfeifle cross country trails are being worked on after 2 1/2 years of planning.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The 30 plus acres of land in Raider Park sits on the north side of Stevens High School.

Tom Pfeifle Trails at Raider Park

Tom Pfeifle Trails at Raider Park

The single track has been established for over a year, but the new wider track will be a big mile loop on the outside of the park, great for running and walking.

When grading is completed, mulch and gravel will be brought in, and the tilling and rolling portion will take place.

Tom Pfeifle Trails at Raider Park

With the help of volunteers and community & business support, the park is developing into a multi-use outdoors area.

The space will play host to an outdoor learning space for Stevens students as well as trails for the community. They also started an orchard and planted 20 trees, which they plan to expand and build a school garden.

“The sky is the limit,” said Tom Keck, the Co-Project Coordinator of Raider Park. “We’ve talked about outdoor classrooms, right, where we are at – right here, building a pretty significant outdoor classroom, staging area so we can have concerts out here; we could have outdoor plays. There isn’t a department that can’t find things to do out here that are going to be valuable.”

Tom Pfeifle Trails at Raider Park

The Tom Pfeifle Memorial Inc was formed in 2018 to honor the life and memory of Tom, who lost his life in a mountain climbing accident in 2016, at the age of 19.

The Pfeifle Memorial 5K Run/Walk helps to fund the Raider Park improvements.  Over $110,000 has been raised for the continued development of Raider Park, through the annual Tom Pfeifle Memorial 5k Run/Walk event.

Tom Pfeifle Trails at Raider Park

“Their [the Pfeifle’s] excitement for the project and their excitement in seeing other people enjoy the outdoors the way that Tom did – it’s just really, really, special and we are humbled and honored and tickled all at the same time to be able to do this in partnership with them,” said Seth Keene, Co-Project Coordinator of Raider Park.

One of the goals of Raider Park is to host cross country running events.

“Just a real gem of an outdoor learning space, not just the PE department and the sports teams, but science department has a chance now to come out here, our FFA Club has their own laboratory if you will so, we hope the community as a whole embraces this and uses it as well; the trails are for them to come and enjoy too,” Keene said.

Tom Pfeifle Trails at Raider Park

They also started an orchard and planted 20 trees, with plans to expand and plant a school garden.

“Just love this park, really invested in it with the Pfeifle family,” Keck said. “I’ve had virtually almost the whole family in class, Tom I had to 2 years and so it’s tough not to be invested in this with that family and the quality of people that they have and how much that they, not only loved the outdoors, but loved education.”

The trail is expected to be complete by the end of the week. Raider Park has a number of different entry points, one is by the Stevens tennis courts.

Click here for more on Raider Park.

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