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Memorial Park

Near the heart of downtown Rapid City is a large park bustling with activity. Located in the sprawling area between the Rapid City Civic Center and Omaha Street, this popular South Dakota attraction offers a lot to see and do.

There are several places to enter the park, but we started on the northwest side near the Berlin Wall Exhibit. Rapid City is home to a section of the Berlin Wall which sits on display surrounded by informational signs. These detail the historical significance of the wall and the many lives impacted by it. The actual section of wall is flanked by a pair of tank traps. This sobering outdoor exhibit is absolutely fascinating and deserves to be visited by everyone.

Just beyond the Berlin Wall Exhibit is the Memorial Rose Garden. Multiple flower beds bloom with brightly colored roses from mid to late summer.

Past the roses is the blue Memorial Fountain, dedicated to the 238 people who lost their lives in the devastating flood of 1972. My dogs are generally mesmerized by fountains, and this one was no exception; they spent several minutes watching it and standing near it, enjoying its hypnotic sound.

We continued along the walking path, crossing the bridge over Rapid Creek. The gushing water runs through the middle of the park, separating the two halves of the area.

On the south side of the creek is one of Rapid City's largest and most modern playgrounds. There are interactive centers, balance beams, workout stations, and even scavenger hunt items to watch out for (like the skunk on a log). The girls enjoyed exploring among the different items and digging in the wood chips. They especially liked the large artificial boulders throughout the playground.

The dogs showed zero interest in the interactive games and musical exhibits. They were much more interested in simply laying in the shady grass, which there was plenty of.

Small gardens broke up the space in between sections of the park. Ursa very much enjoyed the flowers throughout the decorative gardens, while Maggie had to be warned to stay away from a cactus.

Various statues decorate the park, and we passed by a tribute to disabled Americans during our walk. Just past that was a large jungle gym that seemed to mystify and puzzle the dogs. Even while walking among it, it seemed to be a source of confusion.

Past the expansive playgrounds were rows of lilies leading to the southern entrance of the park. Massive statues stood guard at this entryway, welcoming visitors.

We ventured along the walkway past the sentinel statues. Behind them was the Black Hills Veterans Memorial. A large eagle sat perched atop a stone sculpture dedicated to the survivors of war. After taking in all of the information we continued our walk along the promenade, crossing back over Rapid Creek.

We passed by well tended gardens as we walked along the path. We encountered Memorial Pond, which makes up a large portion of the park. The path around the pond was lovely. Gardens of lilies lined one side while benches surrounded the water.

The girls were especially enthralled by the large fountain in Memorial Pond. They were quite happy to sit in the shade by the water and enjoy the gushing fountain. After taking it in for a while the girls were ready to finish their walk and head back towards the car.

The dogs and I really enjoyed exploring everything there was to see along the walking path. This was an interesting park with a lot packed into it.

Memorial Park is a beautiful place to visit, especially during summer months when the fountains are flowing and the flowers are in bloom.

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