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Contact: Riley Hays, 605-673-8332
Jewel Cave National Monument is proud to offer multiple opportunities for volunteers this month. On Saturday, September 24 from 1 - 4 p.m., join park staff at the visitor center to learn about volunteer projects that day. Volunteers that contribute at least one hour of service will earn a free one-time entrance pass valid at all federal public lands.Additionally, this date is a fee free day for the National Park Service;Jewel Cave is waiving all fees for the regularly scheduled cave tours.Tour tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Monument has recently been working with many different groups to improve their visitor services. Many projects will enhance this focus by continuing work on the Roof Trail by posting new directional signs and building new picnic tables to allow visitors time to sit and enjoy the surface of Jewel Cave.
During the National Park Service's Centennial year, park staff are looking forward to establishing as many connections with volunteers as possible. Centennial Coordinator Riley Hays states, "In order to better preserve Jewel Cave and other NPS sites, fostering an appreciation for our resources in community members and all citizens is crucial. Like many public lands, the Monument depends on volunteers for various services in the park, including conducting cave tours, staffing the visitor center front desk, improving trails, and much more."
Furthermore, Jewel Cave is celebrating this special day with an added Junior Ranger program for kids. Beginning at 10 a.m., Junior Rangers can learn all about bats and their importance to the ecosystem, the White-nose syndrome that affects them, and how to help bats in the area. Kids will also take home a free bat craft.Hays further comments, "We're hoping that families will join us for the morning program and then stay into the afternoon for some volunteer projects.It should be a great day for kids to visit and work with park rangers."
Jewel Cave is open daily during the fall season from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with two different cave tour options. For more information, visit the Monument online at www.nps.gov/jeca. Visitors are also welcome to call the Monument directly at (605) 673-8300.