LINCOLN – Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts signed two proclamations underscoring the importance of nature and the outdoors to Nebraskans during a morning ceremony at the Nebraska State Capitol on June 1.
Ricketts declared June Great Outdoors Month. Additionally, he declared June 20 through 26 Nebraska Pollinator Week.
Outdoor recreation promotes good health and helps Nebraskans connect with nature on a personal level. Nebraska’s state park areas offer families and individuals opportunities, to hike, bike, camp, boat, swim, canoe, kayak and fish, among other activities.
“For many Nebraskans, engaging in these and other outdoor activities have become traditions and cherished family memories,” said Bob Hanover, assistant parks division administrator for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “Our great state park system is one of the things that makes Nebraska a wonderful place to live or to visit.”
On the economic side, outdoor recreation provides 74,000 jobs across Nebraska and contributes $2.4 billion to the state’s economy annually.
Pollinators, which include bees, hummingbirds, beetles, butterflies and flies, among other species, help pollinate more than 75 percent of our flowering plants. Pollinators help plants reproduce by carrying pollen from one plant to another as they collect pollen. Without pollinators, many fruits, vegetables, nuts and berries would not be able to reproduce. However, some pollinators are less common than they once were – in Nebraska, 18 pollinator insect species have been identified as being in decline.
“You can help pollinators by planting nectar-producing plants around your home or workplace,” said Kristal Stoner, wildlife diversity program manager for Nebraska Game and Parks. “Incorporating native plants into your garden and avoiding the use of pesticides can also help these crucial species.”
State parks and recreation areas across Nebraska will host events designed to get people outdoors all summer long. Additionally, several workshops on attracting pollinators to your garden are planned throughout Northeast Nebraska. Find information on these and other activities at OutdoorNebraska.org.