New Visitor Center Announced For Badlands National Park


      Badlands National Park is getting a new privately-funded $5.1-million dollars visitor center which will be built in the Cedar Pass area in the South Unit. Nearly 917,000 people visited Badlands National Park last year

      The park’s current Ben Reifel Visitor Center is in its North Unit and there is a small South Unit visitors center in a manufactured home.

      The Helmsley Charitable Trust contributed $3.3-million dollars toward the new center, while the Badlands National History Association has pledged $1.8-million and the Badlands National Parks Conservancy $100,000.

    The Cedar Pass area features towering geological rock formations carved by wind and water from the prairie. 

     The new visitors center will educate park visitors about the region’s geological and paleontological resources as well as the culture of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and Lakota People. The park’s South Unit is on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

       Helmsley Trustee Walter Panzirer says it’s “exciting to lead the funding effort to construct a new, modern visitor center to highlight the park’s splendor and significance.”

      Panzirer says “the layered rock formations and stunning buttes…offer a breathtaking glimpse into a scenic landscape that began forming millions of years ago.”