Holiday Events at Park Include Open House and Annual Christmas Bird Count
December 01, 2005
Tom Farrell, 605-745-4600
Holiday celebrations at Wind Cave National Park commence this year with the park’s Christmas bird count on Sunday, December 11, followed by the annual holiday open house on Wednesday, December 14.
This will be the park’s eleventh annual bird count. This event 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.
People wishing to participate should meet at the park’s visitor center at 8 a.m. Participants are asked to dress warmly, bring a lunch, field guides and binoculars, something to share for dinner and a place setting. Participants will return to the park’s VIP Center at 4:15 p.m. to compile results and share in a potluck dinner. For more information, contact Barb Muenchau or Dan Roddy at 745-4600.
The park’s annual holiday open house will occur on Wednesday, December 14, 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 at 1:15 p.m. The Visitor Center Christmas Tree will be adorned with decorations provided by the students.
Superintendent Linda L. Stoll said, “We would like to wish people in our surrounding communities a happy and safe holiday season, and we hope they can join us at our open house on December 14.”
The public will have the opportunity to visit with park staff and view exhibits relating to the park’s history, prairie, wildlife, and cave. The park’s bookstore, operated by the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association, will also be open for browsing and holiday shopping. Natural Entrance Tours will be offered at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
The visitor center and cave will be closed on Christmas and New Years to allow staff to celebrate these 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.