Summer Season Better Than Ever at the National Grasslands Visitor Center

Press Release –  The National Grasslands Visitor Center (NGVC) has seen a record breaking year this summer with visitation. More people than ever are stopping by to learn about the twenty National Grasslands and one National Tallgrass Prairie represented at the National Grasslands Visitor Center. 
“We’ve had an incredible summer here at the National Grasslands Visitor Center,” comments Supervisory Park Ranger Kathleen Hanson, “Not only has the visitor center drawn in more people than last year, but we’ve also seen the creation of many new and exciting special events, like Jr. Ranger Days!”
Visitation is up by 8% from last year’s summer season. Recreating is a huge pastime on the grasslands, and the visitor center is assisting more people in their camping, hiking, biking, rock-hounding pursuits, etc. than in years previous. The NGVC staff have been working tirelessly to promote the National Grasslands. From these efforts, more and more people are stopping by to experience the Grasslands, and learn about all they have to offer.
One of the ways folks have been learning about the Grasslands is through the brand new Jr. Ranger Days. A day in June, July, and August was chosen to focus and draw attention to a specific aspect of the National Grasslands (wildlife, archaeology, geology, etc.). A new Jr. Ranger booklet was created for each event, guest speakers gave programs, and kids were involved in numerous hands-on activities.
The Visitor Center also partnered with many area institutions, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and University of Wyoming to host the Grasslands Artifact Roadshow and Oral History Project on four different occasions. The Roadshow and Oral History Project aims to record artifacts and homesteading histories into a national online database in order to better preserve and record the past.
In addition, the National Grasslands Visitor Center expanded its presence at many area outreach events and festivals. Outdoor University, the Find Your Park Festival, and Badlands National Park Centennial Celebration, are just a handful of special events the NGVC participated in. Special events like these offer a fantastic way to reach the public, educate them on the Grasslands, and inspire them to love the prairie.
The National Grasslands Visitor Center continued to work with its area partners and associations in order to bring the best experience possible to visitors. The twice weekly Sage Creek Campground programs, and Wednesday night evening programs at the Cedar Pass Amphitheater in Badlands National Park remained a huge hit with public. The programs, in the spirit of Service First, have proven to be a fantastic way to enthuse visitors to experience all the different public lands the United States has to offer.
As the Visitor Center transitions to the autumn season, creating the best experience possible for visitors remains its number one goal. The Park Rangers will continue to give patio talks at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. daily, as well as evening programs at 3:00 p.m. The National Grasslands Visitor Center will also be participating in special outreach events, while hosting its own for Conservation Field Day (October 6th) and Bat Week (October 22nd).
Dennis Kuhnel, NGVC Director said, “The summer of 2016 was fantastic.  We had an excellent group of interpretive staff that delivered many fascinating programs to thousands of visitors from all around the United States and the World.”
The National Grasslands Visitor Center is located at 708 Main Street, Wall, SD 57790. For more information, please call (605) 279-2125