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Custer State Park Bison Center

Custer State Park encompasses 71,000 acres of rolling prairie hills and stunning granite spires within the Black Hills. It is the crown jewel of the state park system.

The park entertains close to 2 million visitors annually. The Bison Center will become another unique destination for visitors entering Custer State Park. There is no better place to tell the North American Bison story. The Bison Center will give the park the ability to tell more of the enriched story of our bison herd and will give visitors the opportunity to dive deeper and learn more about the country’s national mammal. The Center will attract new visitors to the park, as well as providing a reason for visitors to stay in the park longer, increasing visitation and ensuring the park remains a premier vacation destination in western South Dakota.

The South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation, (SDPWF) is leading a private-public fundraising campaign in partnership with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks to construct the Custer State Park Bison Center. The Center will educate visitors through dynamic interpretive displays and tell the origin story of the park’s bison, herd management and the annual Buffalo Roundup and auction.

Governor Kristi Noem announced during the 2020 Custer Buffalo Roundup that the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust had awarded a $4 million grant to SDPWF to construct the Bison Center. The SDPWF, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, independent support organization for the SD Department of Game, Fish and Parks, is seeking $1 million in private and public donations for the total project budget of $5 million.

Resources are the final ingredient that cause vision, persistence and a good plan to come alive and that is where we need your help! There are three levels of giving that will be specifically recognized on a high profile location within the Bison Center. These include: Bison Center Pioneers- $100,000, Bison Center Partners- $50,000 to $99,999 and Bison Center Friend- $25,000-$49,999. Achieving this campaign goal will require support from private and public partners who share the dream and vision of the Bison Center. If you are among those who wish to turn the Bison Center vision into reality, please contact Dick Brown, Development Director for the SD Parks and Wildlife Foundation at 605-941-3156. We welcome all support to this project and smaller donations can also be made online at the SDPWF website,

“Custer State Park has played a key role in bison conservation for over a century.
This one-of-a-kind center will allow the park to tell its story and educate future generations on the importance of the bison. I urge you to support the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s 2020-2021 Custer State Park Bison Center fundraising campaign.”

Kristi Noem, Governor of South Dakota

By the Numbers

Bison Center Pioneers


Bison Center Partners

$50,000 to $99,999

Bison Center Friend

$25,000 to $49,999

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