City Of Custer City Council Proceedings – Special Meeting

Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

CITY OF CUSTER CITY

COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS- SPECIAL MEETING

February 5th, 2016

Mayor Jared Carson called to order a special meeting of the Common Council for the month of February, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.  Present at roll call were Councilpersons Maciejewski (by phone), Heinrich, Nielsen, Fischer, Herman and Schleining. City Attorney Chris Beesley was also present by phone. The Pledge of Allegiance was stated.

AGENDA
Councilperson Fischer moved, with a second by Councilperson Heinrich, to approve the agenda. The motion unanimously carried.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
No conflicts of interest were stated.

CUSTER COMMUNITY HEALTH SERVICES INC / REGIONAL HEALTH PRESENTATION
Representatives from Custer Community Health Services Inc presented their proposal for a new healthcare facility.

RESOLUTION #02-01-16A – CONTINUATION OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO HEALTHCARE SERVICES

 Councilperson Heinrich moved to approve Resolution #02-01-16A, Continuation of Financial Support to Healthcare Service. Seconded by
Councilperson Nielsen, the motion carried with Councilperson Maciejewski, Heinrich, Nielsen, Fischer, Herman and Schleining voting yes.

RESOLUTION #02-01-16A

A RESOLUTION TO CONTINUE TO FINANCIALLY SUPPORT HIGH QUALITY HEALTHCARE SERVICES IN THE COMMUNITY OF CUSTER.

WHEREAS, the City of Custer has historically provided financial support to Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated to assure the availability of high quality healthcare services in the City of Custer through Resolution 10-20-03A and Resolution 7-19-10A; and

WHEREAS, Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated has for many years contracted with Regional Health Network, Incorporated to operate the hospital, clinic and long-term care facilities located in Custer; and

WHEREAS, the City of Custer has been informed that the challenges inherent in the evolving healthcare environment are having the effect of forcing consolidation among healthcare providers; and

WHEREAS, Regional Health Network, Incorporated has indicated its willingness to construct a new hospital and clinic facility within the City of Custer to replace the outdated hospital and clinic facilities which are currently in place; and

WHEREAS, Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated has determined the continuation of high quality healthcare services, including the construction of new facilities to replace the existing outdated facilities, can best be assured by merging its operations with Regional Health Network, Incorporated; and

WHEREAS, the Custer Common Council has determined that it continues to be in the best interest of the community to continue to support high quality health care services in the City of Custer following the merger of Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated into Regional Health Network, Incorporated.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Custer Common Council that the City of Custer supports the merger of Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated into Regional Health Network, Incorporated; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Custer Common Council that the City of Custer supports the construction by Regional Health Network, Incorporated of a new hospital and clinic facility in the City of Custer to replace the existing outdated facilities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Custer Common Council that the City’s previous commitment of financial support to Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated by designating 75% of one penny of the sales tax with an annual maximum of $347,000.00 shall continue following the merger of Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated into Regional Health Network, Incorporated;  and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Custer Common Council that the City of Custer shall continue its annual financial support of healthcare facilities in the City of Custer by providing Regional Health Network, Incorporated the revenue generated by 75% of one penny of sales tax with an annual maximum of $347,000.00 until such time as the total amount of financial support provided by the City of Custer, along with any cash held by Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated at the time of its merger with Regional Health Network, Incorporated and any amounts currently held by the City of Custer and earmarked for the support of Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated shall total, but not exceed, $4,000,000.00; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Custer Common Council that any amounts currently held by the City of Custer and earmarked for the support of Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated shall be paid to Regional Health Network, Incorporated upon the City being notified of the completion of the merger of Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated, and Regional Health Network, Incorporated.

Dated this 5th day of February, 2016.

CITY OF CUSTER

S/Mayor Jared Carson

ATTEST: Laurie Woodward, Finance Officer

RESOLUTION #02-01-16B – AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF DEEDS TO ASSURE CONTINUATION OF HEALTHCARE SERVICES

            Councilperson Herman moved to approve Resolution #02-01-16B, Authorizing Execution of Deeds to Assure Continuation of Healthcare Services.  Seconded by Nielsen, the motion carried with Councilperson Heinrich, Nielsen, Fischer, Herman, Schleining and Maciejewski voting yes.

RESOLUTION #02-01-16B

A RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE THE MAYOR AND FINANCE OFFICER TO EXECUTE DEEDS TO ASSURE THE CONTINUATION OF HIGH QUALITY HEALTHCARE SERVCIES WITHIN THE CITY OF CUSTER

WHEREAS, the City of Custer has previously transferred certain real property located within the City of Custer to Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated; and

WHEREAS, the deeds transferring the property to Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated contain a requirement for Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated to continue to use the property for health care purposes, or the property shall revert to the City of Custer; and

WHEREAS, the City of Custer has been informed that the challenges inherent in the evolving healthcare environment are having the effect of forcing consolidation among healthcare providers; and

WHEREAS, Regional Health Network, Incorporated has indicated its willingness to construct a new hospital and clinic facility within the City of Custer to replace the outdated hospital and clinic facilities which are currently in place; and

WHEREAS, Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated has determined the continuation of high quality healthcare services, including the construction of new facilities to replace the existing outdated facilities, can best be assured by merging its operations with Regional Health Network, Incorporated; and

WHEREAS, the existing deed restrictions would create uncertainty within the chain of title following the merger of Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated and Regional Health Network, Incorporated; and

WHEREAS, the execution of new deeds would alleviate the potential ambiguity within the chain of title; and

WHEREAS, the Custer Common Council has determined that it continues to be in the best interest of the community to continue to support high quality health care services in the City of Custer following the merger of Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated into Regional Health Network, Incorporated.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Custer Common Council that the City of Custer supports the merger of Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated into Regional Health Network, Incorporated; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Custer Common Council that the Mayor and Finance Officer are authorized to execute deeds granting the full fee simple interest without restriction in the property described as

TRACT HOSPITAL (formerly a portion of Lot E and all of Lot B Revised) located in the SW1/4 of Section 24, Township 3 South, Range 4 East, B.H.M., City of Custer, Custer County, South Dakota, as shown on the Plat filed in Book 4 of Plats, Page 137,

to Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated, with the understanding that upon completion of the construction of a new hospital and clinic facility, the existing structures on these parcels will be demolished, the property returned to green space and conveyed back to the City of Custer by Regional Health Network, Inc. as successor in interest to Custer Community Health Services, Inc., with a restriction prohibiting the use of the property for healthcare facilities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Custer Common Council that the Mayor and Finance Officer are authorized to execute deeds granting a fee simple interest, subject to a reversionary interest in the City of Custer City in the event the parcels are not used for healthcare purposes in the property described as

TRACT CLINIC (formerly a portion of Lot E and all of Lot B Revised) located in the SW1/4 of Section 24, Township 3 South, Range 4 East, B.H.M., City of Custer, Custer County, South Dakota, as shown on the Plat filed in Book 4 of Plats, Page 137; and

LOT C, formerly a portion of City Park, located in the SW1/4 of Section 24, Township 3 South, Rage 4 East, B.H.M., City of Custer, South Dakota as shown on the Plat filed in Book 1 of Plats, Page 155; and

LOT F, formerly a portion of City Park, in the SW1/4 of Section 24, Township 3 South, Range 4 East, B.H.M., City of Custer, Custer County, South Dakota, as shown on the Plat filed in Book 1 of Plats, Page 155; and

TRACT NURSING HOME (formerly a portion of Lot E) located in the SW1/4 of Section 24, Township 3 South, Range 4 East, B.H.M., City of Custer City, Custer County, South Dakota, as shown on the Plat filed in Book 4 of Plats, Page 137 and Book 10 of Plats, Page 215, Excepting therefrom Tract Ambulance of Health Care Subdivision of Tract Nursing Home, as shown on the plat filed in Book 12 of Plats, Page 303; and

TRACT AMBULANCE, of Health Care Subdivision of Tract Nursing Home of Lot E located in the SW1/4 of Section 24, Township 3 South, Range 4 East B.H.M., City of Custer City, Custer County, South Dakota as shown on the Plat filed in Book 12 of Plats, Page 303,

to Custer Community Health Services, Incorporated.

Dated this 5th day of February, 2016.

CITY OF CUSTER

S/Mayor Jared Carson

ATTEST: Laurie Woodward, Finance Officer

FINAL PLAT – SPRING SUBDIVISION

            Councilperson Herman moved to approve the final plat for Spring Subdivision, seconded by Councilperson Fischer. Councilperson Herman moved to amend his motion to approval contingent upon the Planning Commission’s recommendation of an annexation agreement being executed containing provisions for required improvements that are set out by ordinance; and if such annexation agreement is not executed the plat will be vacated. Councilperson Fischer seconded the amendment, the motion unanimously carried.

ADJOURNMENT

            With no further business, Councilperson Nielsen moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:00 p.m. Seconded by Councilperson Herman, the motion unanimously carried.

 

ATTEST:                                                                                              CITY OF CUSTER CITY

 

Laurie Woodward                                                                      Jared Carson

Finance Officer                                                                           Mayor

Grace Family Fellowship would like to welcome you to join us for Sunday School

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Grace Family Fellowship would like to welcome you to join us for Sunday School. This Sunday, February 7, 2016, we will be starting up our Sunday School classes. Our kids will begin studying the parables of Jesus in Gospel Light’s Parable Quest: 13 Transforming Stories Jesus Told. Our Adults will begin a study of Acts 1-12 produced by Lifeway’s Explore the Bible Series. In our worship service, we are continuing our sermon series on Colossians 1-2, Putting Christ First, with Colossians 2:1-7: “Sure Footing in an Unstable World.”

We meet at 641 Montgomery St., in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church building. Sunday School starts at 9:15 am, followed by worship at 10:30.

You can find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Grace-Family-Fellowship-726055074183293/.  You can also find our website at www.graceffc.com.

We look forward to seeing you there.
Eric Futrell, Pastor, Grace Family Fellowship.

Forestry Officials Release 2015 Forest Health Report

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Photo: South Dakota Department of Agriculture

Custer, SD – The U.S. Forest Service, South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) and Wyoming State Forestry Division today released the results of the annual aerial forest health survey on the Black Hills National Forest and surrounding lands. Analysis of high resolution photography of the Black Hills of South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming reveals the mountain pine beetle epidemic is continuing.

The Mountain Pine Beetle has affected approximately 447,000 acres on the Black Hills National Forest since the outbreak began in 1996. Similar to 2014, between 16,000 and 17,000 acres were affected in 2015.  Ground surveys and beetle brood surveys reveal signs the epidemic is slowing.

“We are seeing positive results as we continue our work with partners and conservation leaders throughout the Black Hills.  We will continue to perform landscape scale treatments to make the forest more resilient to insects and fire,” said Craig Bobzien, Black Hills National Forest Supervisor.

Mountain pine beetle brood surveys were conducted at 13 locations by U.S. Forest Service entomologists in July 2015. Results showed an overall decrease in tree mortality across the forest as a whole, but there are still several areas of significant beetle activity.  Areas that have the highest current activity include the Northwest corner of the Forest around the Tinton area (approximately 8 miles west of Lead and 8 miles South of Spearfish), areas south and east of Custer and the west-central area near the South Dakota/Wyoming state line.

Ben Wudtke, Black Hills Forest Resource Association, said “Although we have some success stories battling the mountain pine beetle in the Black Hills, the most recent results clearly show the fight is not over and we have more work to do.”

“The mountain pine beetle epidemic is waning, but isn’t over yet.  Our thanks go out to the Governor, Legislature, counties, private landowners and industry for their support and efforts during this epidemic because we are making an impact.” said Greg Josten, South Dakota State Forester.

“The area impacted by the mountain pine beetle in the Black Hills is still growing, and we need to continue work to slow the spread.  However the cooperation we have seen between the two states, the Forest Service, the BLM, local governments, and industry should serve as a model to other areas dealing with the same type of issues, said Bill Crapser, Wyoming State Forester.

Dave Thom, Black Hills Regional Mountain Pine Beetle Working Group Coordinator reported that the 14 partners involved have spent an average of $18.2 million annually since 2012 for about 210,000 acres of treatment each year.  “That tremendous work has protected people and communities, created healthier forest conditions for the long-term, and reduced beetle populations, while supporting about 1,200 local jobs,” said Thom. “Work is most effective when coordinated across all lands.”

Josten and Crapser credit the federal congressional delegation, governors and state legislators from both South Dakota and Wyoming for their support in providing funds for the effort.

A variety of methods have been used to treat hundreds of thousands of trees including forest thinning, noncommercial sanitation, prescribed fire and chemical spraying.

The complete survey results for the Rocky Mountain Region, including Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming are available athttp://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r2/forest-grasslandhealth

Insect mapping was a cooperative effort between South Dakota Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry, State of Wyoming Forestry Division, Weston Natural Resource Conservation District, Weston County Weed & Pest, USDI Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service and Neiman Timber Company.

Additional information on Mountain Pine Beetles can be found at: http://www.beatthebeetles.com/.

Popular Working Lands Conservation Program Open For Ag Producers

NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE, HURON, SD February 4, 2016 – A popular conservation program for working agricultural lands is open for applications. “Funding is now available for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), USDA’s largest conservation program.

“South Dakota leads the Nation with acres involved with the CSP,” says Jeff Zimprich, State Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Huron, SD. “With over 2,500 active CSP contracts across the state, we’re proud of the voluntary improvements ag producers are making for the health and productivity of their private and Tribal working lands,” says Zimprich.

Since 2009, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has invested more than $29 billion to help producers make conservation improvements, working with as many as 500,000 farmers, ranchers and landowners to protect over 400 million acres nationwide, boosting soil and air quality, cleaning and conserving water and enhancing wildlife habitat.

In South Dakota alone, more than 7.39 million acres have been enrolled in CSP. “This program results in real change by boosting soil health and air quality, conserving clean water and enhancing wildlife habitat,” explains Zimprich. “With this year’s investment, we’ll be able to build on the already record number of acres enrolled, enabling our ag producers to achieve higher levels of conservation and adopt new and emerging conservation technologies on farms, ranches and forests.”

NRCS accepts applications for CSP throughout the year, but producers should submit applications by March 31 to USDA service centers to ensure they are considered for enrollment in 2016.

Participants with existing CSP contracts expiring on Dec. 31, 2016 have the option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands. Applications to renew are also due by March 31.

NRCS also makes CSP available to producers as an additional opportunity to participate in regional landscape-level conservation efforts including the Sage Grouse Initiative and the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative.

Funding is available for more than 100 different enhancements nationwide to help participants:

  • Improve soil quality through use of cover crops, conservation crop rotations and other activities that increase soil productivity.
  • Use water wisely and improve water quality.
  • Improve and restore habitat for wildlife and pollinators.
  • Improve rangeland health and productivity through the use of better grazing systems and improved plant management.

A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is compatible with their operation. As part of the application process, applicants will work with NRCS field personnel to complete a resource inventory of their land to determine the conservation performance for existing and new conservation activities. The applicant’s conservation performance will be used to determine eligibility, ranking and payments. 

For more on technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.

South Dakota Farm Bureau Statement on TPP Signing  

Huron, S.D. (February 4, 2016) – South Dakota Farm Bureau made the following statement on the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement:
“The signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is another step forward for this important international trade agreement. South Dakota farmers and ranchers will benefit from the TPP because it will give the United States a strong seat at the table when agreements are made and markets are opened to our agricultural products,” said Scott VanderWal, crop and cattle producer from Volga, S.D., and president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau.
VanderWal continued: “No one can match the productivity of America’s farmers and ranchers. Because we excel at the production side, we must continually attend to the consumption side of the equation. We want strong markets here at home as well, but the opportunity to trade internationally is a key component in the success of our farm and ranch families. We urge the U.S. to ratify this trade agreement as soon as possible.”

Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation Supports  Native American Artist

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Copyright Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation
Accepting Grant applications through August 2016

Crazy Horse, SD-In 1946 when Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski accepted the invitation from Chief Henry Standing Bear to carve a mountain memorial to honor individuals from Native Nations throughout North America, he knew from the beginning that Crazy Horse must be an educational and humanitarian project and much more than the colossal Mountain Carving. Today, at the center of the Memorial and bringing life to Korczak’s original vision, is the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Educational and Cultural Center.

The Museum and the Cultural Center offer the visiting public an opportunity to enjoy historical and contemporary art and artifacts from Native Nations across North America. Additionally, each summer, a variety of artists and lecturers are invited to the Memorial to share their art and to educate the public about the gifts Native American culture continues to offer society.

Through its Connections and Opportunities program, Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation offers Native American artists funding to support and develop their interests and art and an opportunity to connect to people throughout the world. The Memorial is accepting applications now for the following programs:

Continuing Education
Continuing education grants are designed to provide financial support to Native American artists who are committed to improving artistic skill and their careers. This grant provides professional development funds to support artists by providing funding to attend workshops, classes and/or conferences, or for purposes of marketing existing works to new audiences.
One-to-One Mentoring
Native American students (high school and /or college) will be paired with experienced, respected Native artists and/ or culture bearers (mentors) for 100 hours of one-on-one learning in the areas of traditional art, storytelling, or studio art. 

• One Person Show
This program provides six artists each a one-month exhibition in order to market and sell their art in the INDIAN MUSEUM OF NORTH AMERICA® from May to October. This exhibition provides opportunity for the artist to connect to the many visitors that Crazy Horse Memorial provides. Artists attend a reception and meet and greet Crazy Horse guests and supporters.
• Artist-in-Residence
The program provides six artists a one-month residency in order to market and sell their art in the INDIAN MUSEUM OF NORTH AMERICA® from May through October. This residency provides opportunity for artists to connect to the many visitors Crazy Horse Memorial provides. During the residency, the artist will be asked to share his/her experience with the public through demonstration, discussion, lecture, and/or other means. The presentation will depend on the artist’s medium, interests, and experience and will require a few scheduled hours of commitment during the artist’s residency.
• Summer Lecture and Performance Series
Native Artists, historians, cultural bearers and/or performers have the opportunity to share their knowledge and skill with visitors to Crazy Horse Memorial through one-hour lectures or performances. Each Thursday evening from June – August, the program will provide an educational opportunity for visitors to learn and interact with the professional.
Please visit the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation website to learn more about the Connections and Opportunity grant programs for artists, eligibility, and to download applications — www.crazyhorsememorial.org (click on Museums-Explore and then scroll down to Connections and Opportunities on the right.) or contact Mary Bordeaux @ mary.bordeaux@crazyhorse.org.
About Crazy Horse Memorial
Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation’s mission is to honor, protect, and preserve the culture, traditions, and living heritage of the Indians of North America. The Memorial fulfills its mission by continuing the progress on the world’s largest mountain sculpture, acting as a repository for Native American artifacts, arts and crafts through the INDIAN MUSEUM OF NORTH AMERICA® and the NATIVE AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL & CULTURAL CENTER®; by establishing and operating the INDIAN UNIVERSITY OF NORTH AMERICA®, and when practical, a medical training center for American Indians.

Custer Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting for The English Touch Day Spa

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L-R Dave Ressler, Director Custer Chamber of Commerce,  Karen Valentin,  Vicki Thompson,  Patti Lee,  Mary Shanklin Shanklins Floor Covering & Cottage Gifts,  Robin Prior Lo-Ru West Dance Studio,  Don Cook English Touch Day Spa,  Jeff Prior Dakota Greens,  Jan Cook owner An English Touch Day Spa,  Susan Swindal Roost Resorts,   Amber Stover Custer Chamber of Commerce Office Manager,  Larry Matthesen All Around Good Guy,  Gail Trask (not pictured)  First Interstate Bank,  Jean Matthesen Vice President Board of Directors, Custer Chamber Of Commerce,( behind Jean) Patti Hauschildt Western Skies Real Estate,  John Stahl Custer Chamber Board of Directors and far right Kelly Miller, Manager Highmark Credit Union. Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

National “Stop Disenrollment” Visual Advocacy Movement

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American Indigenous Artists, Actors, Musicians, Elected Leaders, Educators, Advocates, Professionals To Proclaim #stopdisenrollment

Seattle, WA – On Monday, February 8, 2016 at 2 PM PST, a collective of Indigenous People spanning the U.S., will commence a national advocacy campaign: #stopdisenrollment. The crowd-sourced, online campaign is best understood by visiting www.stopdisenrollment.com.

There and through social media channels, Indigenous Peoples who believe that disenrollment is contrary to tribal values and traditions, and thus should be stopped, will engage in a powerful, uncensored mode of visual self-expression. All Indigenous Peoples are encouraged to participate.

#stopdisenrollment is a leaderless movement, which intends to first attract representatives of all 567 federally-recognized tribes in the United States, and ultimately attract as many participants as there are disenrolled Indians.

Currently, over 80 federally recognized tribes–or 15% of all tribes–in 17 states, have disenrolled their kin. It is estimated that as many as 10,000 Indigenous Peoples have been disenrolled in the U.S.

Inaugural #stopdisenrollment participants include:

· Winona LaDuke, Ojibwe, Environmental Activist, Minnesota

· Litefoot, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Rap Artist, Actor, Author, Entrepreneur

· Louie Gong, Nooksack, Indian Artist-Activist, Seattle

· Bethany Yellowtail, Northern Cheyenne/Crow, Fashion Designer, Los Angeles

· Dyami Thomas, Leech Lake Anishinaabe/Klamath, Actor, Model

· Robert Williams, Lumbee, Author, Legal Scholar, Tucson

· Gregg Deal, Pyramid Lake Paiute, Indian Artist-Activist, Denver, Colorado

· Jeffrey Verrege, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Marvel Comics Artist, Bremerton, Washington

· Greg Sarris, Chairman, Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, California

· Chase Iron Eyes, Standing Rock Sioux, Last Real Indians Founder, Lawyer-Activist, South Dakota

· Janeen Comenote, Quinault/Oglala Sioux, National Urban Indian Family Coalition, Washington

Wind Cave National Park Celebrates Centennial with Reunion, Music, and Special Events  

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Wind Cave National Park plans an employee reunion this July, the first since 2003. (NPS Photo) 

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD –Wind Cave National Park plans to mark this year’s Centennial of the National Park Service with a wide variety of special events lasting into December. Created in 1916, the National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.

“The Centennial is an opportunity to introduce the National Park Service to the next generation of visitors while reenergizing those who already know and love the parks,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila.  “We encourage people to participate in these special events and to use this year to find your park.”

A sampling of events planned for the year includes a mixture of music, gatherings, and youth activities.

The park will celebrate National Park Week, April 16 – 24, with free tours. South Dakota’s National Park Treasurers: Through the Voices of Our Youth, partners area national parks with elementary school classes in Custer and Porcupine to work with Native American songwriter and performer Mr. Sequoia Crosswhite to write an original piece of music about each park area. The musical premiere will occur April 19 in Custer, with a later performance in Porcupine.                                                                                       

On Saturday, May 21, the park will participate in the National Park Service-wide BioBlitz Weekend. The focus of the Wind Cave BioBlitz will be birds, with volunteers focused on recording bird sightings, especially spring migrants.  Festivities will include beginner and family bird walks, bird banding demonstrations, live raptors, and a bird box construction workshop. Species data from all BioBlitzes throughout the country will be entered into a central “Base Station” and broadcasted on a large screen on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

A reunion of former and current employees and friends of the park will occur on Friday and Saturday, July 8 and 9. There will be special events at the park ending with a banquet at the Mueller Center in Hot Springs Saturday night. Everyone is welcome; for dinner reservations, visitwww.nps.gov/wica.

The American Solar Challenge is a college competition to design, build, and drive solar-powered cars in a cross-country time and distance rally event. This year’s course will begin in Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio and travel 1,800 miles through 9 national park areas before ending at Wind Cave on Saturday, August 6.

The park’s celebration will wrap up in December, as the Centennial serves as the theme for this year’s Christmas in the Hills celebration. These are just some of the activities planned for the year. For more information, contact the park at 605-745-1130.

Photo Caption: Wind Cave National Park plans an employee reunion this July, the first since 2003. (NPS Photo)