• Badlands formations against the blue sky; photo by Rikk Flohr


    National Park South Dakota

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  • Visitor Center Open

    Construction crews are replacing the parking lot in front of the visitor center. Please follow the signs, park in the side lot, and use the side doors. The Ben Reifel Visitor Center remains open every day from 8 am to 4 pm.

Poets - Writers - Composers 2

Spring 2005: Ben Cassorla, Composer

Ben Cassorla represents the first and only Artist in Residence musical composer at Badlands National Park. His final submission was created and inspired by his time spent at the park.

Listen to Ben's composition entitled, P.S. (6 MB WMA file).


Fall 2008: Mary Haug, Writer

Bobcat by Photographer Rikk Flohr, 2007 Artist in Residence

Bobcat by Photographer Rikk Flohr, 2007 Artist in Residence

© 2007 Rikk Flohr

"I am a writer who writes stories about a particular time, place, and people. At the heart of my stories are the South Dakota prairie and a Bohemian-Irish family who lived on that land during the 1940’s and into the 1960’s. In the fall of 2008, I served as Artist in Residence for the Badlands National Park. All my life, I have been drawn to rugged beauty of that landscape and to the memories of my father exploring the buttes and mesas of the park."
-Excerpt from Mary Haug's Artist Statement (9.5 KB PDF)

Mary authored an essay entitled, On the Badlands Loop Road (38 KB PDF), for her submission to Badlands National Park.


Spring 2010: Kathleen M. Heideman, Poet

Panorama Sunset by Poet Kathleen M. Heideman, 2010 Artist in Residence

Panorama Sunset by Poet Kathleen M. Heideman, 2010 Artist in Residence

© 2010 Kathleen Heideman

Kathleen M. Heideman has been named a 2011 fellow of The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico; she will receive a three-month artist residency in Taos. As a fellow of the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, she worked with scientists at the South Pole, McMurdo science station and various remote field camps. In 2010, Heideman served as writer-in-residence with the Andrews Experimental Forest (OR), artist-in-residence at the Aspen Guard Station in the San Juan National Forest (CO), artist-in-residence at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge (WI) and artist-in-residence at Badlands National Park (SD).

Listen to Kathleen read her poem, "Why I Want to be a Park Ranger When I Grow Up" (2 MB MP3 file).


Did You Know?

Hikers in the Badlands Wilderness Area

Badlands National Park maintains an open backcountry policy for exploration of its rugged landscape. While the park has no formal backcountry permit or reservation system, hikers are advised to stop at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center for planning assistance, safety tips, directions, and regulations.