Wind Cave Celebrates National Jr. Ranger Day with Black-footed Ferret Activities
NPS Photo: Dan Foster
Contact: Tom Farrell, 605-745-4600
WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. – Visitors to Wind Cave National Park on Saturday, April 26, will be able to view a live black-footed ferret and partake in special activities as part of National Junior Ranger Day. The ferret display is only one of a number of programs meant to engage children and their families during National Park Week, April 19-27th.
Activities begin Saturday at 12:30 p.m. with a thirty-minute presentation by Dan Roddy, Park Biologist, in the visitor center auditorium. His program about the park’s ferret reintroduction efforts and their status will be repeated at 2:30 p.m. Park rangers will present a sixty-minute Junior Ranger program, designed for children 6 – 12 years of age, beginning at two o’clock on the visitor center front lawn. Children will need to have their parents available to drive them to a nearby prairie dog town as part of the program.
Between one o’clock and three o’clock there will be a book signing by Andrew Licht, an eleven- year old local author who recently wrote the book “The Ferret Capture”. This event will occur in the visitor center’s Black Hills Parks and Forest Association Bookstore.
The day ends with ranger-led night hikes across the prairie looking for wild black-footed ferrets. Participant numbers are limited, and reservations are required. Call the park at 745-4600 to make a reservation. Participants should bring a flashlight, wear sturdy shoes, and dress warmly. The park will offer similar hikes this summer during the months of July and August.
“National Park Week is a wonderful time to explore our area parks before the busy summer season arrives,” said park superintendent Vidal Davila. “The theme this year is ‘Kids in Parks’. We hope families will take this opportunity to explore the stories embodied in their national parks.”
The live ferret is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s captive breeding program. It will be on display in the visitor center over the weekend of April 26 and 27.