Marathon Runner Commits to Support Badlands Sustainability Project
Contact: Badlands Natural History Association: Katie Johnston, 605-433-5327
Contact: Badlands National Park: Cathy Bell, 605-433-5249
BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, INTERIOR, S.D. — On November 3, runner Geoff Johnson will participate in the New York City Marathon with a goal of raising $1,000 to support a water recycling project in Badlands National Park. Badlands Natural History Association (BNHA) and Badlands National Park join in expressing their gratitude towards Johnson and the donors who are sponsoring his run.
Johnson, a native of Washington, D.C., visited Badlands National Park for the first time in July. “I was overwhelmed by the raw layers and shapes and colors that surrounded me for those days in the wilderness,” he said. He was inspired to support the park’s work of preserving and protecting the magnificent prairie landscape and sought to make a contribution that would support sustainability efforts in Badlands.
Johnson is using online fundraising tool CrowdRise to recruit supporters. Donations gathered from the crowdrise.com website will be directed towards a planned project that will use recycled water for native plant gardening in the Cedar Pass area of Badlands National Park.
Under the proposal, a wind-powered pump will move treated effluent from the park's wastewater lagoon to a storage tank. The recycled water will be used for occasional irrigation of newly-planted native species of grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs. Using the reclaimed water, the park hopes to develop a native plant nursery with interpretive signage that will educate visitors about native prairie plants and sustainability.
BNHA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting interpretive, educational, and scientific objectives of Badlands National Park. Executive Director Katie Johnston said, “National parks like Badlands are deeply meaningful to visitors from all over the country and all over the world. We’re tremendously appreciative of Geoff’s dedication to protecting this landscape and are honored that he chose us as a beneficiary.”
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.
Did You Know?
The former Pig Dig was discovered in June 1993 when two visitors from Iowa discovered a large backbone protruding from the ground near the Conata Picnic Area. Originally thought to be a 4-day excavation, field work continued for over a decade, yielding more than 10,000 fossilized bones for study.