June 13, 2022

Wall Display at the Monument Memorializes Flood Victims, Celebrates City's Greenway




50-foot wall display will include

interactive elements, visuals, testimonials;

Public invited to June 9 unveiling ceremony

RAPID CITY, SD—The victims of the 1972 Black Hills Flood and Rapid City’s commitment to preserving the community’s greenway created in the floodwater’s path of destruction are now memorialized with the recent dedication of The Monument Storyboard, a large visual and audio display at The Monument.

            The display is located in the corridor between The Monument’s Summit Arena and Barnett Fieldhouse. The unveiling ceremony was part of events commemorating the 50th observance of the 1972 Black Hills Flood.

            The storyboard is a 50 x 11-foot wall display and will include interactive elements, current visuals of the City’s greenway, flood and current photos of various areas and a light feature displaying the height of the 1972 floodwaters.  Testimonial videos of the how the flood event impacted and changed the Rapid City community, its residents and the future of the area are also included as part of the wall display.

            “The purpose of the display is two-fold,” said Greta Chapman, a member of the 50th Flood and Greenway Commemoration Committee.  “It is to honor those who lost their lives in the tragic events of fifty years ago, and also to celebrate the beauty and value of the greenway space in Rapid City which was created out of the tragedy.

            “Rapid City has one of the largest greenway spaces in the nation for a city of our size.  When you consider the vast majority of people who experienced the flood of 1972 either no longer live here or are still alive, many of the people living and visiting here today don’t realize what happened – the lives lost, the destruction.”

            Chapman says the storyboard wall will help educate residents and visitors to Rapid City about the flood as well as the importance of the City’s greenway.

            “Most people living here and who come to visit Rapid City experience the beauty and the activity of the greenway space,” said Chapman.  “It is forever important for anyone using the greenway space to know how it came about and to bring honor to the use of that space.”

            The City’s greenway includes miles of pathways featuring parks, playgrounds and activity opportunities.

            Another committee member, Kelsey Stine, has been working with Chapman on the storyboard project for nearly a year.  Stine has utilized her design expertise to develop a display that tells the flood story from community devastation and recovery to the city’s growth and a look to the future.

            “My hope with this piece was to capture the beauty of our area while ensuring the reason behind the greenway was not lost,” said Stine. “I believe all the pieces (to the display) play an important role. The photography of current spaces and the days following the flood are powerful to view.

            “One piece I find very important (in the display) is the backdrop of the installation and the statistical tile work on the columns.  I believe it is a subtle representation of the area, the greenway, and how easily it can be passed by without really stopping to think what this greenway is and why it is significant.

“The biggest challenge in telling the flood story was the balance of focusing on where the City is today, 50 years later, and the stories of the community in 1972.”

            Chapman is organizing donors for the storyboard wall’s $50,000 annual sponsorship to ensure its longevity for display at The Monument.  For more information on sponsorship, contact Chapman at 605-430-0792 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

            Following the Thursday dedication ceremony, a no-host reception will be held in The Monument’s LaCroix Hall.  Visitors will be able to view a number of flood-related static displays, visit information tables and with authors of books related to the 1972 flood.  Dakota Choral Union will perform at 6 p.m. followed by ‘An Interview With Mayor Don Barnett: Recollections of the 1972 Flood’ at 6:30 p.m., featuring Don Barnett, Rapid City’s mayor from 1971-1975 and veteran journalist Jack Caudill. 

             For more information about the 1972 flood and a complete schedule of commemoration events, visit www.rapidcityflood.com .

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