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Contact: Tom Farrell, 605-745-1130
WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD-- After traveling 1,975 miles across 7 states as part of the American Solar Challenge, it all ends for college teams from across the world with a checkered flag at Wind Cave National Park on Saturday, August 6. Over a dozen university teams have designed and built solar-powered cars that will participate in an 8-day open road rally while stopping at 9 different National Park Service sites.
The American Solar Challenge cars will stop at Wind Cave on August 6 from approximately 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors are invited to see the cars and enjoy other activities including discovering how climate change impacts the Midwest and making sun-heated s’mores.
“We are excited to welcome the solar cars to Wind Cave,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila. “Visitors will get the chance to explore spectacular park resources, see cool cars that use innovative solar technology, and learn more about National Park Service efforts to reduce our impact on the environment.”
Every two years the Innovators Educational Foundation organizes the American Solar Challenge, a collegiate student design competition to design, build, and drive solar-powered vehicles in a cross-country time/distance rally event.
“We’re looking forward to bringing the solar cars to 9 national parks across the Midwest during the American Solar Challenge 2016 and celebrating the National Park Service Centennial. We hope visitors will take this opportunity to see the solar cars, meet the teams, and find their park,” says Event Organizer Gail Lueck.
The American Solar Challenge will begin at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio on July 30, 2016, and end in Wind Cave National Park on August 6, 2016. Midway stops include Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, Homestead National Monument of America, and Scotts Bluff National Monument. More information is available on the Midwest Regional Office website.
As part of the 2016 Centennial, the National Park Service has challenged itself to provide more research and education around the effects of climate change on national park resources. The Green Parks Program encourages walking, biking, ride-sharing, and use of fuel-efficient or alternative-fuel vehicles. The American Solar Challenge highlights these efforts by bringing solar-powered cars to parks.
For more information about the rally, and the university teams competing in it, visit americansolarchallenge.org.