Guests at one of South Dakota's most popular tourist destinations will be getting a new experience in the next few years.

Badlands National Park, in the Western part of the state, is getting a new visitors center.

According to the National Park Foundation, the $5.2 million project is being privately funded by three different groups.

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The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, which has an office in Sioux Falls, is donating $3.3 million, the Badlands Natural History Association has pledged $1.8 million, and the Badlands National Park Conservancy will contribute $100,000 to the new building.

The new visitors center will be located in the Cedar Pass section of the park and will help to educate park visitors about the region's paleontological and geological resources, as well as the culture of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and Lakota People.

The park's current Ben Reifel Visitor Center was constructed 1957–58.

The nearly 380 square mile park was authorized as Badlands National Monument on March 4, 1929, but was not established until January 25, 1939. Badlands was redesignated as a national park on November 10, 1978.

About one million people visit the park each year.

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