City to proceed with Dinosaur Park accessibility improvements

The plan is to build a longer sidewalk path on the hill to make it easier to get up the hill.
Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 5:50 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The Rapid City Council is set to approve the next steps in improving accessibility at Dinosaur Park. The plan is to help accommodate those with mobility limitations as well as children and those carrying strollers.

The proposal being voted on by the Rapid City Council would authorize hiring a consultant to begin work on designs and construction documents for new safety features and pedestrian routes. The Park has been seen as largely exclusionary for those with mobility limits because of the steep stairway and low railing.

Melissa Petersen is the Landscape Designer with Rapid City Parks and Recreation. She said that this accessibility project is long overdue.

“We just want to be able to have it be a place that anyone can access if they want to,” Petersen said. “It’s a historic landmark, it’s part of our history, and we just want people to be able to access that.”

The plan is to build a longer sidewalk path on the hill to make it easier to get up the hill.

Alongside people with mobility limitations, the city hopes to make the park more accessible to children and people carrying strollers.

Darrell and Shay Strong are Rapid City residents who take their young children to Dinosaur Park a couple of times a year. They said that the accommodations are important for locals and tourists alike.

“The kids absolutely love coming up here, and being a mom and having to carry them is one thing,” Shay Strang said. “So, to have a stroller, it would be really nice, especially for little kids to let them come up here and play that way too.”

The City’s Vision Fund is providing $1.6 million and $900,000 from the Department of Parks and Recreation.

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