Mammoth site breaks ground on new addition with backing from USDA rural development

Farm Forum

Hot Springs, SD – USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks and Rural Development Area Director Tim Potts were among those who participated in a ground breaking ceremony on Sept 24. USDA awarded $862,100 to help assist with expansion efforts of the Mammoth Site.

“This project is a great example of what can happen when federal government partners with the local community to improve services, and in this case enhance the educational experiences of visitors,” said Meeks.

The Mammoth Site leveraged the USDA Community Facility loan with a HUD grant of $137,969 and local/regional contributions of $369,703 for a total project cost of $1,369,772. The new 5,800 square foot addition will feature a new entryway, gathering area, storage, and two 53-seat theaters. The theaters will allow visitors to experience a new HD introductory video. It will also allow having lectures by on-site scientists and visiting scientists and available to local clientele, visitors and school groups.

“This project has been a dream of many of the Board of Directors and has been in the Mammoth Site’s Strategic Plan for about eight years,” said Joe Muller, COO/Business Manager of the Mammoth Site. “With the assistance from USDA Rural Development in securing the loan, the State of South Dakota has an ever-changing and improved world-class working paleontological site and museum.”

For more information about programs available through USDA Rural Development visit