May 14, 2021

(Update) City Council Approves Next Step In Accessibility Upgrades At Dinosaur Park



(5/18 Update: The Council approved the measure at Monday night's meeting)

RAPID CITY, SD—One of the featured items on Monday’s Rapid City Council agenda is authorizing the City to enter into a professional services agreement for accessibility improvements at Dinosaur Park.

            The proposal would authorize the mayor and finance director to sign an agreement with Tallgrass Landscape Architecture, LLC to design upgrades to Dinosaur Park’s pedestrian routes as well as bring Park safety features up to code and place new and upgraded visitor amenities.  The agreement calls for the project designs and plans to be completed by the end of the year. 

            Dinosaur Park improvements were presented to the City’s Vision Fund Citizens Committee in 2018 and were part of the items approved in the 2019 Vision Fund allocations by the City Council.  The projected $2.5 million project was approved with $1.6 million from the Vision Fund and $900,000 from the Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department’s Capital Improvements Project (CIP) Fund.

            “Dinosaur Park is one of the most visible images of Rapid City,” said Melissa Petersen, City Parks and Recreation landscape designer.  “It’s a very popular place to visit for residents and tourists alike.  The park has needed accessibility upgrades and other improvements for many years.  Anyone who has walked up and down the Park’s staircase to see the dinosaurs knows it’s quite an access challenge, if not an impossibility for some visitors.

“We look forward to the completion of the design phase of the project and work that can begin at the Park on needed upgrades next year.”

            Dinosaur Park is one of Rapid City’s iconic attractions.  Dedicated in 1936, the Park was constructed by city crews and the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. Over the years, maintenance and renovations have been made to parking, some pedestrian access, pavement and to the dinosaurs.

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