New energy efficient changes at Mount Rushmore

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Today, construction workers began to install 975 solar panels on the top level of the Washington side of the parking garage. It will power up the restaurant, gift shop and the parking garage with the hope of saving about 40 thousand dollars a year.

In the meantime, to limit traffic build up, visitors are using the new pay stations around the park. Visitors need to get a ticket to enter but may pay at any point during their stay.

But more changes are coming...

"The lights in the parking garage will be changed over to more energy efficient lighting. So the whole goal here is good for our people who are visiting, visitors have a good experience and we stay as green and sustainable as possible," says Maureen McGee-Ballinger, Chief of Interpretation and Education at Mount Rushmore.

The solar installation is planned to be completed by December.