Raider Park at Stevens High School was and is the sole beneficiary of the proceeds from
the 2018 and 2019 Tom Pfeifle 5k event as well as last year's 2020 Virtual event.
A landscape architect has been hired and has developed a preliminary plan for the park. The park will be fenced with reclaimed materials. The 5k funds will cover the architect, fencing, grass seed and planting. Within that plan is a 5k cross country (running) trail and numerous single track biking trails. The expectation is that the trails will all be native grasses. The park will have test plots for students to study the soil and various grasses in order to determine long term needs. Both agriculture and science departments will be involved in these test plots. Raider Park will be both an outdoor campus and a community recreation area.
The running trails will benefit runners and walkers from the community and can be used by the cross country, track and physical education students from middle through high school. The single track benefits the cycling team and the many groups that seek riding adventure in the city.
Raider Park encompasses more than 30 acres of a mix of flat and rolling terrain. The land upon which Raider Park sits is owned by the Rapid City Area School District. The School Board has given permission to Stevens High School teachers, Seth Keene and Tom Keck, to lead the development of this park, but with no school funding. This challenge has been fully embraced: hundreds of hours of volunteer time have gone into clearing trash and downed limbs; trimming trees; mapping and identifying trails. Running, biking and trail groups have been active volunteers and supporters. Raider Park is the recipient of $60,000.00 from the 2018 Tom Pfeifle Memorial 5K Run/Walk which is a 501(c)(3) organization. This organization seeks to promote and advance the development of Raider Park.
Current plans include an arboretum for scientific study, lighting, a pavilion with solar panels, a plan to use reclaimed water from the drainage area, a plan to provide food for economically disadvantaged students as well as long term projects for special needs students. In addition, the planting and donation of trees will provide shade, protection of the environment and ongoing learning opportunities for students.
People love and protect what they value. Raider Park will provide an opportunity for students and community to value outdoor exercise! It will promote the ideals of individual and environmental health. It will provide hands on educational opportunities and environmental studies. And it will afford both students and community members opportunities to “give back”.