Custer State Park Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center

The Peter Norbeck Visitor Center was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and has served millions of Custer State Park visitors over the last 80 years. Named after visionary Governor, U.S. Senator and Custer State Park founder Peter Norbeck, the Center is located across from the Game Lodge and near the popular Grace Coolidge Trail. Over time, the space in the historic building has become too small to accommodate the increasing number of park guests and the exhibits have become out-of-date and worn. 

The beautiful building and site still have a role to play in enhancing the visitors’ experience in Custer State Park by informing and enriching all their experiences. Plans are to repurpose the building to create an up-to-date education center. The refurbished center will better serve students, families and others who want to take part in the many existing and planned naturalist programs offered by Park Rangers. 

The new Custer State Park Visitor Center will introduce visitors  to the many opportunities for outdoor recreation, wildlife viewing, and other unique activities the Park has to offer. The Norbeck Outdoor Education Center and an accompanying amphitheater will be the focus of one of these unique activities. Naturalist-led educational programs including interpretive hikes, nature walks, campfire talks, naturalist presentations directed towards park animals and plants will be the main focus of the Education Center. Refurbished exhibits will focus on the park’s and region’s natural history including wildlife, mining, forestry, geology and hydrology.

A total of approximately $500,000 is needed to rearrange and add new space, create current  exhibits and host educational programs. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has made a pledge toward this goal and the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation is actively seeking one or more additional donors to provide the resources to complete the renovations in 2016. Recognition levels begin at $25,000.


For more information, please contact Dick Brown, Development Director, at brownassociates@goldenwest.net or at 605.941.3156.