Wind Cave National Park Offers Free Tours on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Visitors taking free tours of Wind Cave on January 15 will view a rare calcite cave formation called boxwork. (NPS Photo)

January 6, 2018

Hot Springs, S.D.  – Wind Cave National Park will offer free tours on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 15. Natural Entrance Tours will be offered at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. These tours are 75 minutes in length and traverse 300 stairs beginning at the cave’s Walk-In Entrance. A tour of the Garden of Eden area of the cave will be offered at 3 p.m. This hour-long tour has 150 stairs. Both tours will view the boxwork cave formation for which the cave is famous.

Tickets are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. All tours begin at the visitor center located ½-mile off US Highway 385.

For more information, contact Wind Cave National Park at 605-745-4600

Annual Bird Count and Holiday Open House Celebrate the Season at Wind Cave National Park

 

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. – Holiday events this year at Wind Cave National Park begin Sunday, December 11,  with the 21st annual Wind Cave National Park Christmas Bird Count followed by the park’s yearly holiday open house on Wednesday, December 14.

Bird count participants should dress for the weather, bring field guides, and binoculars. Plan to meet at the visitor center no later than 7:30 a.m. on December 11. Afterwards, there will be a potluck supper around 4:15 p.m. in the visitor center; bring a dish to share.  RSVP by calling the park at 605-745-4600.

The Christmas Bird Count is patterned after the National Audubon Society’s effort to document trends in wintering birdlife throughout the United States. The count area will include all of Wind Cave National Park and areas of the Black Hills National Forest and Custer State Park.

The open house December 14 will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the visitor center. Light refreshments will be served, and students from the Hot Springs’ third grade will sing carols around 1:30 p.m. The students will also decorate the visitor center Christmas tree.

“We appreciate people taking part in our holiday activities, either the Christmas Bird Count or the open house,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila. “We welcome these opportunities to meet with our neighbors, and we wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season.”

During the open house, the public will be able to view park exhibits and browse through the visitor center’s bookstore operated by the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association.

The visitor center and cave will close on Christmas and New Year’s Day to allow staff to celebrate the holidays with their families. Throughout the remainder of the winter, the visitor center will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with cave tours at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

Until the cave elevators are repaired around the end of January, all tours will walk in and out of the cave via the Walk-In Entrance. This includes climbing

National Mammal Dedication Ceremony at Wind Cave National Park

By Herb Ryan
November 2, 2016

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SDSpeakers, music, and light refreshments were the order of the day at Wind Cave National Park’s celebration of the designation of the bison as the National Mammal. The event was held Tuesday afternoon November 1, 2016 on the Wind Cave National Park Visitor Center front lawn. 

“We are pleased to be hosting this event honoring the naming of the North American bison as the official National Mammal of the United States,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila. “Bison nearly went extinct in the late 1800s, and their survival is one of the country’s greatest conservation success stories. The 450 bison we have in the park are descendants of those early animals.”

The keynote speaker, Congresswoman Kristi Noem, lead co-sponsor for the National Bison Legacy Act, which President Obama signed into law earlier this year. Noem said, “The journey of the Bison from near extension to America’s First National Mammal was marked by struggle and resilience. It took republicans and democrats, people who represented South Dakota, people who represented places like the Bronx to raise the bison “Great Tatanka” as a Native American symbol of our heritage. And that’s the American frontier that  still defines America from all those other countries across the world.”

Kelly Aylward spoke on the importance of the celebration at Wind Cave and the fact that the Wind Cave herd descends from bison sent west from the Bronx Zoo to repopulate the park in the early 1900’s. Kelly Aylward is the Head of Federal Affairs, Wildlife Conservation Society.

Jim Stone, Executive Director Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council talked about the relationship between the historic buffalo family units and ” how historic buffalo formed small family units within a wider herd circle of other related units”. Stone went on to explain the dynamic of the historic buffalo family units having a parallel with today’s Native American society and the need make historic Buffalo society a part of today’s human experience.

The Hot Springs High School Bison Band under the direction of Nathaniel Kroshus played the National Anthem and America The Beautiful.  Fourth graders from Hot Springs attended the ceremony and received their Fourth Grade “Every Kid in a Park” Pass allowing free entrance to any Federal land agency site requiring an entrance fee.

The National Park Service along with the Wildlife Conservation Society, National Bison Association, and the Black Hills Parks and Forest Association, are sponsored the event. 

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A majestic Bull Bison stands picture perfect near the entrance of Wind Cave National Mammal Dedication Ceremony at Wind Cave National Park Tuesday November 1, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Harold Salway, Executive Director Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority opens the event with a prayer followed by the “Flag Song” in the Lakota language sung by Harold and his son Tyrel at the National Mammal Dedication Ceremony at Wind Cave National Park Tuesday November 1, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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The Hot Springs Bison Band under the direction of Nathaniel Kroshus played the National Anthem and concluded the program playing America the Beautiful at the National Mammal Dedication Ceremony at Wind Cave National Park Tuesday November 1, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Vidal Davila Superintendent of Wind Cave National Park gives opening remarks at the National Mammal Dedication Ceremony at Wind Cave National Park Tuesday November 1, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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U.S. Representative South Dakota Kristi Noem who helped lead the House in passing H.R.2908, the National Bison Legacy Act, speaks at the National Mammal Dedication Ceremony at Wind Cave National Park Tuesday November 1, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Jim Stone Executive Director InterTribal Buffalo Council speaking at the National Mammal Dedication Ceremony at Wind Cave National Park Tuesday November 1, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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A packed house at the National Mammal Dedication Ceremony at Wind Cave National Park Tuesday November 1, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

Wind Cave Celebrates Bison Designation as the National Mammal Tuesday, November 1

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Wind Cave National Park will host an event November 1 honoring the designation of the bison as the National Mammal. (NPS Photo)

 

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SDSpeakers, music, and light refreshments on Tuesday, November 1, mark Wind Cave National Park’s celebration of the designation of the bison as the National Mammal.  The event kicks off at 2:30 p.m. on the Wind Cave National Park Visitor Center front lawn. The keynote speaker is Congresswoman Kristi Noem, lead co-sponsor for the National Bison Legacy Act, which President Obama signed into law earlier this year.

“We are pleased to be hosting this event honoring the naming of the North American bison as the official National Mammal of the United States,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila. “Bison nearly went extinct in the late 1800s, and their survival is one of the country’s greatest conservation success stories. The 450 bison we have in the park are descendants of those early animals.”

Other speakers include representatives of the National Park Service, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), InterTribal Buffalo Council, and National Bison Association.

“This celebration at Wind Cave National Park is especially meaningful for the Wildlife Conservation Society, since the Wind Cave herd descends from bison sent west from our Bronx Zoo to repopulate the park in the early 1900s,” said John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. “As our new National Mammal, we are happy to celebrate this American symbol of unity, resilience and healthy landscapes and communities.”

The Hot Springs High School Bison Band will play the National Anthem and a Lakota drum group will perform the Flag Song.  Fourth graders from Hot Springs will attend the ceremony and receive their Fourth Grade “Every Kid in a Park” Pass allowing free entrance to any Federal land agency site requiring an entrance fee.

The National Park Service along with the Wildlife Conservation Society, National Bison Association, and the Black Hills Parks and Forest Association, are sponsoring the event. 

University of Michigan Wins American Solar Challenge Rally

 

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The University of Michigan’s car crossing the finish line at Wind Cave National Park Saturday afternoon August 6, 2016 (NPS Photo)

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD— It was a challenging day to be driving a solar-powered car, as overcast skies and a steady drizzle lowered the sun’s available power, but the University of Michigan’s car  powered through the rain and won the 2016 American Solar Challenge. The rally began on July 30 in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio and traveled across 7 states and 1,975 miles in 8 days before concluding at Wind Cave National Park Saturday afternoon. The winning car finished the rally in 48 hours, 26 minutes, and 46 seconds.

“We’re very relieved for the race to be over,” said Clayton Daily, Engineering Director for the University of Michigan car. “We put in so much effort to get the car ready for the road. We worked on it all year and the entire team’s effort paid off.”

Every two years the Innovators Educational Foundation organizes the American Solar Challenge, a collegiate student design competition to design, build, and drive solar-powered vehicles in a cross-country time/distance rally event.

“We were told this was one of the toughest rallies in 17 years due to the cloudy and wet weather the teams experienced along the route,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila. “We were honored to be able to host the conclusion of this innovative rally while celebrating the Centennial of the National Park Service.”

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Polli Montreal’s car crossing the finish line at Wind Cave National Park Saturday afternoon August 6, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

ASC 2016 Overall Winners and Results

  1. University of Michigan
  2. Dunwoody College of Technology
  3. University of Toronto
Rank Team # – Name Stage 1 Time Stage 2 Time Stage 3 Time Stage 4 Time Total Time Miles Credited
1 2 – Michigan 10:59:41 11:41:22 19:09:51 6:35:52 48:26:46 1976.2
2 51 – Dunwoody 13:05:48 15:18:45 23:44:43 7:21:06 59:30:22 1971.5
3 77 – Toronto 14:17:12 14:01:39 23:46:24 10:05:48 62:11:03 1914.6
4 42 – Missouri S&T 15:27:36 16:25:48 24:20:04 8:01:12 64:14:40 1955.8
5 32 – Principia 13:04:53 15:34:05 24:03:16 11:49:50 64:32:04 1886.3
6 828 – Appalachian State 13:29:06 16:52:56 40:37:06 5:28:42 76:27:50 1724.5
7 9 – Iowa State 17:12:22 18:06:48 35:23:00 9:05:06 79:47:16 1783.9
8 92 – ETS Quebec 15:32:58 18:28:48 39:06:48 11:44:00 84:52:34 1659.0
9 6 – Berkeley 14:25:07 30:53:24 32:21:12 12:06:18 89:46:01 1530.9
10* 35 – Minnesota 14:44:36 18:08:24 48:19:40 11:33:18 92:45:58 1796.5
10 55 – Poly Montreal 14:20:08 21:18:54 55:27:56 4:44:17 95:51:15 1370.4
11 17 – Illinois State 16:59:57 36:51:54 41:40:30 13:50:01 109:22:22 1193.3
12 3 – Kentucky 36:35:18 DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ  135.5

For more information about the rally, and the university teams that competed in it, visit americansolarchallenge.org.