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Game and Parks Omaha Service Center Status

The strong smell of smoke still permeates the air and eventually causes the eyes to water. Soot is on and in everything, even items and  paperwork inside drawers and cabinets. After a while your clothes begin to smell like you built the smokiest campfire ever.

Smoke from a July 23 morning fire at The Popcorn Shop in Omaha’s Frederick Plaza billows through next door to the NE Game and Parks Service Center/Omaha Office at 8495 Frederick Street. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

A structural fire, or being next to an intense structural fire and dealing with the aftermath of it, is a nasty, dirty thing that takes considerable time to professionally clean and restore.

Omaha firefighters are shown after removing the hot, smoldering contents of The Popcorn Shop adjacent to the Game and Parks Service Center in Omaha’s Frederick Plaza during a morning fire on July 23. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
A burnt metal door on the Game and Parks Service Center as a result of The Popcorn Shop fire in Omaha’s Frederick Plaza the morning of July 23. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

If you have not heard, our/your Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Office/Service Center in Omaha at 8495 Frederick Street, was damaged by an extensive fire that occurred this past Monday morning, July 23, next door at The Popcorn Shop in our plaza. The Omaha Fire and Police Departments had quick and effective responses to it.

Omaha Fire Department trucks and firefighters outside the NE Game and Parks Service Center in Omaha during the morning of The Popcorn Shop fire on July 23. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

No one was injured, thankfully. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Obviously, the office is closed until further notice. It most likely will be weeks before we can reopen. Major clean up and restoration work are needed to make our/your facility habitable and whole again. My staff and I are monitoring these efforts and are also working at other locations. You can reach us via email or by calling our main phone line at 402-595-2144 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Game and Parks business, including the acceptance of Gifford Point WMA deer hunting applications through July 30, is being directed to the Ak-sar-ben Aquarium/Schramm Park SRA Mobile Trailer Office at 21502 W. Hwy. 31, 6 miles south of I-80 Exit #432 in Sarpy County. The aquarium mobile office is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The phone number to our crew there is 402-332-3901.

If you’re curious as to why our staff there is operating out of a trailer, it’s because a new, state-of-the-art nature center and aquarium is being constructed and scheduled to open at the site early next year. Stay tuned for information on that coming in the near future!

Pictured is the new state-of-the-art nature center and aquarium at Schramm Park SRA near Gretna, NE which is currently under construction. The complex, part of the new venture parks concept, is scheduled to open sometime early next year. Photo courtesy of Susie Hintz Bliss/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

While you’re at the Schramm Park SRA, you should check out the brand new kayak and canoe launch area along the Platte River there. This is part of the innovative venture parks plan as well.

An important component of the innovative venture parks plan is Platte River access. This is the brand new kayak and canoe launch area along the Platte River at the Schramm Park SRA near Gretna, NE. Photo by Susie Hintz Bliss/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

As a reminder on permit/stamp purchases for outdoor activities (e.g. hunting, fishing, fur harvesting, state park area vehicle entrance) and NEBRASKAland Magazine subscription transactions, those can all be done at any Game and Parks office or online with a Visa or Mastercard directly through our Game and Parks website at OutdoorNebraska.org

In addition, a list of permit vendors where most basic permits/stamps may be purchased is available here. The exceptions are big game, turkey, first permits for veterans and free grouse permits.

Thank you very much for your patience during this time and we hope to see you real soon!

About greg wagner

A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Public Information Officer and Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's Service Center in Omaha. On a weekly basis, Wagner can be heard on a number of radio stations, seen on local television in Omaha, and on social media sites, creatively conveying natural resource conservation messages as well as promoting outdoor activities and destinations in Nebraska. Wagner, whose career at Game and Parks began in 1979, walks, talks, lives, breathes and blogs about Nebraska’s outdoors. He grew up in rural Gretna, building forts in the woods, hunting, fishing, collecting leaves, and generally thriving on constant outdoor activity. One of the primary goals of his blog is to get people, especially young ones, to have fun and spend time outside!

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