Educators Bring Badlands National Park into the Classroom

posted on April 26, 2013

In addition to their daily reading, writing and math problems, students at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary discovered ancient history in fossils and got an insider’s understanding of prairie dog ecology this week. Badlands National Park Rangers Natalie Hammond and Ed Welsh visited campus as part of ‘Badlands in Your Classroom,’ a program aiming to make the nearby national park more accessible to local students through education. 

With Badlands National Park’s South Unit slated to become the first Tribal National Park in the country, park staff are increasing their outreach efforts within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This program and other educational initiatives – including a Youth Camp and summer internships – provide area youth with a deeper understanding not only of their land, but also of future career opportunities.

“The students really enjoyed the presentations,” says Our Lady of Lourdes Principal, Theresa Lessert. “It is always a great opportunity to have park staff speak with the students about the ecology and opportunities that exist right in