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Contact: Tom Farrell, 605-745-1130
WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD –Wind Cave National Park plans to mark this year's Centennial of the National Park Service with a wide variety of special events lasting into December. Created in 1916, 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.
"The Centennial is an opportunity to introduce the National Park Service to the next generation of visitors while reenergizing those who already know and love the parks," said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila. "We encourage people to participate in these special events and to use this year to find your park."
A sampling of events planned for the year includes a mixture of music, gatherings, and youth activities.
The park will celebrate National Park Week, April 16 –24, with free tours. South Dakota's National Park Treasurers: Through the Voices of Our Youth, partners area national parks with elementary school classes in Custer and Porcupine to work with Native American songwriter and performer Mr. Sequoia Crosswhite to write an original piece of music about each park area. The musical premiere will occur April 19 in Custer, with a later performance in Porcupine.
On Saturday, May 21, the park will participate in the National Park Service-wide BioBlitz Weekend. The focus of the Wind Cave BioBlitz will be birds, with volunteers focused on recording bird sightings, especially spring migrants.Festivities will include beginner and family bird walks, bird banding demonstrations, live raptors, and a bird box construction workshop. Species data from all BioBlitzes throughout the country will be entered into a central "Base Station" and broadcasted on a large screen on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
A reunion of former and current employees and friends of the park will occur on Friday and Saturday, July 8 and 9. There will be special events at the park ending with a banquet at the Mueller Center in Hot Springs Saturday night. Everyone is welcome;for dinner reservations, visit www.nps.gov/wica.
The American Solar Challenge is a college competition to design, build, and drive solar-powered cars in a cross-country time and distance rally event. This year's course will begin in Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio and travel 1,800 miles through 9 national park areas before ending at Wind Cave on Saturday, August 6.
The park's celebration will wrap up in December, as the Centennial serves as the theme for this year's Christmas in the Hills celebration. These are just some of the activities planned for the year. For more information, contact the park at 605-745-1130.