Wind Cave National Park was established in 1903. The 33,500-acre park, located in South Dakota, hosts a mixed-grass prairie ecosystem with bison, elk, and prairie dogs. Below ground is a barometric wind cave with at least 137 miles of explored passages. The cave is unusually large and was formed by boxwork. Children can visit the park’s website and view some of its great multimedia presentations at: http://www.nps.gov/wica.
Sue, the largest and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex fossil skeleton, was discovered by Sue Hendrickson in South Dakota in 1990. Sue is 42 feet long and probably weighed 6.4 tons when alive. After a dispute over ownership was solved, she was sold to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois. Children could learn more at the Museum’s website at: Sue.
South Dakota became the fortieth state of the United States in 1889. The two states’ names stem from a Sioux word dakota, meaning allies. People first came to South Dakota in search of gold. Then raising cattle became a means of living. Its nickname is the Coyote State, and Pierre is the state capital. Two important attractions are the Badlands National Park and Mount Rushmore National Monument. Children can visit the America’s Library site at: South Dakota.
Badlands National Park became a national park in 1978. This South Dakota park encompasses 244,000 acres and is home to many animals, including bison, bighorn sheep and black-footed ferrets. The park website has amazing videos, photos, and activities for children: Badlands National Park.