SIOUX FALLS (AP) – Badlands National Park in South Dakota will build a new visitor center in the southeast section of the park, the National Park Foundation said Monday.
The new visitor center will be located in the Cedar Pass section of the park, where wind and water have carved towering geological rock formations from the prairie. The center is planned to educate park visitors about the region's paleontological and geological resources, as well as the culture of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and Lakota People.
Nearly 917,000 people visited the park last year, according to the National Park Service.
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust donated $3.3 million for the project. Badlands Natural History Association has also pledged $1.8 million, and the Badlands National Park Conservancy has contributed $100,000.
“Badlands National Park’s layered rocks formations and stunning buttes offer visitors a breathtaking glimpse into a scenic landscape that began forming millions of years ago,” Helmsley Charitable Trust Trustee Walter Panzirer said in a statement. “We’re excited to lead the funding effort to construct a new, modern visitor center to highlight the park’s splendor and significance.”