LINCOLN, Neb. – Crawdad Creek, a series of five shallow, interactive ponds that flows picturesquely into Jenny Newman Lake, has opened at Platte River State Park.
Crawdad Creek is the first feature completed as part of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Venture Parks Complex, which calls for greatly expanded activities and amenities designed to meet the needs of a new generation of visitors at four parks – Platte River State Park, Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, and Schramm Park State Recreation Area and Louisville State Recreation Area. Funding for the Venture Parks Complex is provided through a public-private partnership, spearheaded through the Game and Parks Foundation and supported by many generous donors.
Crawdad Creek hosts aquatic invertebrates, insects, reptiles and fish for visitors to see and interact with. Park naturalists will use the ponds and the organisms that call them home in educational activities for park visitors. The scenic, peaceful setting of the creek provides a place of serenity for park visitors, too. Additionally, the creek serves as the water source to recharge Jenny Newman Lake, which was renovated in 2016. The flowing water also helps maintain suitable oxygen levels within the lake to foster a healthy fishery.
“We are excited about this new feature at the park as it provides another opportunity for visitors to get in touch with nature,” said Jim Swenson, Parks Division Administrator for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Additional Venture Park components to be constructed at Platte River State Park in 2017 include a multi-tiered splash pad that will replace the existing swimming pool, as well as new glamping (glamorous camping) cabins.
Construction of Crawdad Creek and the renovation of Jenny Newman Lake were made possible by the Cornhusker Motor Club Foundation, Cass County Nebraska Tourism (www.visitcasscounty.com), National Park Service Land and Water Conservation Fund, Nebraska Game and Parks Foundation, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration Fund and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Angler Access funds.
Platte River State Park is located 3 miles west of Louisville, Nebraska on Hwy. 66. A valid park entry permit is required for all vehicles entering the park.