Custer gets funds to improve community park

Harbach Park is a 1.14 acre park located on Washington Street between 6th and 7th Street, across from the Custer Chamber of Commerce. (KEVN)

PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - Gov. Kristi Noem has awarded a total of $764,430 in Land and Water Conservation Fund grants to several communities. The federal assistance program provides up to 50 percent reimbursement for outdoor recreation projects.

In the Black Hills, Custer was awarded $137,000 for Herbach Park. Herbach Park is in a master plan improvement project in phase one.

Herbach Park is located on Washington Street between 6th and 7th Street, across from the Custer Chamber of Commerce. The park is over an acre in size and contains the following:

  • Two picnic shelters (one with two tables and one with only one table)

  • A Gazebo with two tables in it

  • One unsheltered picnic table

  • Handicap accessible picnic tables

  • Two outdoor barbecue grills

  • Drinking water fountain

  • Swing set

  • Playground set

  • Small creek with fish

  • Bridge that crosses the creek

  • Memorial trees

  • Caboose railcar

  • Trailhead for Mickelson Trail

The park was built roughly 30 years ago as part of a city improvement in the floodplan.

The surface is primarily crushed limestone and gravel. There are currently 14 trailheads which all offer parking, self-sale trail pass stations ($2 daily or $10 annual), vault toilets, and tables, over 100 converted railroad bridges, 4 hardrock tunnels, and numerous services along the trail.

The gentle slopes and easy access allow people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the Black Hills. The grades of the trail do not exceed 4 percent for the most part, but parts of the trail are considered strenuous.

Much of the trail passes through National Forest Land, but there are parts of the trail that pass through privately owned land, where trail use is restricted to the trail only. The trail is enjoyed by hikers, bikers and horseback riders.

The remaining $627,430 goes to other outdoor recreation projects in East River.

“I commend these project sponsors for their strong commitment to improve their communities and make South Dakota a better place to live, work and play,” Gov. Noem said. “Their efforts will benefit future generations of South Dakotans.”

Land and Water Conservation Funds come from the National Park Service and are administered in South Dakota by the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

For more information on the LWCF program, contact grants coordinator Randy Kittle by calling (605) 773-5490 or email him at