NPS - National Park Service

04/08/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/08/2021 14:31

Jewel Cave kicks off National Park Week with bat house building program

News Release Date:
April 8, 2021

Contact:Lennie Ramacher, 605.673.8330

JEWEL CAVE NATIONAL MONUMENT, SD - Jewel Cave National Monument is celebrating National Park Week, April 17-25, by hosting a free bat house building activity in partnership with the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association on Saturday, April 17, at 2:00 p.m.

Park staff will provide a brief program about bats and their survival in the wild. Bat house materials and assistance will be provided as participants build their bat house. Due to limited supplies, reservations are required for this activity and participants are asked to bring their own hammer. Call 605-745-7020 or visit to register; supplies are limited to one box per family. Come dressed for the weather, as the event will be held outdoors on the monument's visitor center patio to ensure adequate social distancing. This free program is sponsored by Black Hills Parks and Forests Association.

Jewel Cave is home to nine different of species of bats, many of which use the cave for shelter year-round either as a day roost site in summer or as a hibernaculum in winter. The cave hosts the largest hibernating colony of Townsend's big-eared bats in South Dakota.

Although cave tours are currently suspended due to a major elevator repair project, other amenities are available. The visitor center, exhibits, award-winning park film, park store, surface trails, and picnic areas are open Thursday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The monument will be open daily for the summer season beginning May 30. Visitors are advised that in accordance with CDC guidelines face coverings are required inside the visitor center and in outdoor areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.

National Park Week is an annual presidentially proclaimed celebration for people to discover and enjoy our country's remarkable network of natural, cultural, and recreational sites. Parks across the country will host a variety of special programs, events, and digital experiences. There are also special theme days during the week to highlight the different ways everyone can enjoy national parks. To learn more visit