June 1, 2012
Contact: Julie Johndreau
BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, Interior, S.D. - Sunday, May 27th marked the beginning of summer ranger programs at Badlands National Park. Visit the park this summer and learn about fossils, geology, ecology and local history. Check out http://www.nps.gov/badl for more information. Ben Reifel Visitor Center is open from 7:00 - 7:00 for the summer. White River Visitor Center, located in the park's South Unit is open from 8:00 - 5:00 daily.
Special Night Sky programs are offered throughout the summer, Friday-Monday each week, and begin immediately after the Evening Program. Evening Programs begin nightly at dusk. Meet at the amphitheater, located next to the Cedar Pass Campground a quarter mile from the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. Join the ranger for a Star Tour, and stay for opportunities to view celestial objects through several professional telescopes.
Monday, June 4 is the grand opening of the Saber Site, a fossil quarry located directly adjacent to the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. Rangers and paleontologists will lead groups around the site where Junior Ranger Kylie Ferguson made her Saber Tooth Cat discovery in June, 2010. Learn about the fossil record at Badlands National Park while experiencing an active paleontological dig. The public is also invited to visit the fossil prep lab, which will be located in the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. Hours for the quarry and the prep lab are 9:00 - 4:30 daily through the summer.
Visit the White River Visitor Center, found along SD Highway 27, 20 miles south of Scenic, SD to discover more about the park's cultural stories. Attend a walk or storytelling program throughout the summer. Saturday, June 2 is the open house at White River Visitor Center. Please join us for demonstrations, storytelling and other programmed activities or for more information call 605-455-2878.
Coming events: The 4th Badlands Heritage Celebration will take place July 20-22. Activities will take place in both the North and South Units of the park. The first Badlands' Astronomy Festival will take place August 17-19. Many special guests, activities and presentations will be announced closer to that date.
Badlands is known for its rugged beauty and striking geologic deposits containing one of the world's richest fossil records. The rich cultural history of the Oglala Lakota people and local homesteaders is also integral to the park story. Visitors are encouraged to bring water, a jacket, sunscreen and insect repellent for all park programs. Regular park entrance fees apply.
For information on lodging and camping reservations in the park, please refer to Cedar Pass Lodge at http://www.cedarpasslodge.com/lodging .
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 397 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov . Follow us on Twitter @BadlandsEdu, and @Badlands_Ranger.