On Saturday, September 24, the recently formed Friends of Wind Cave National Park helped plant six trees for the unveiling of a historic plaque in celebration of the National Public Lands Day at the park in South Dakota. The trees were planted around the visitor center, helping to replace trees that had been planted in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corp.
The bronze plaque that was unveiled honors Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Park Service . Free tours of the cave were also offered on Saturday, allowing visitors to experience the fifth-longest cave in the world.
As Indian Country Today Media Network reported this past July, there was long a secret entrance to Wind Cave in South Dakota, one of the longest and most complex cave systems in the world, was only known to the American Indians in southwestern South Dakota. This secret lasted for centuries. Lakota stories speak of a hole in the Black Hills that blows air. It is a scared place for the Lakota, with tipi rings near the present day elevator building at Wind Cave National Park indicating that the Lakota knew long before anyone else of the incredible cave’s entrance point.