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Locations of some Missouri River Outdoor Expo activities will change because of high water levels

LINCOLN, Neb. – Visitors to the 15th Annual Missouri River Outdoor Expo Sept. 21-22 at Ponca State Park are advised that high water along the Missouri will affect the locations of some activities. Due to recent high Missouri River levels, this year’s event will include two main venues – the Resource and Education Center and Shooter’s Village. The activities and demonstrations on the park’s riverfront will be moved to one of these two locations. All normal activities and demonstrations except …

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Public invited to count species at Chadron State Park bioblitz

CHADRON, Neb. – The public is invited to examine the natural diversity of the Pine Ridge during the fourth annual Chadron State Park Bioblitz on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 6-7. A bioblitz challenges attendees to identify as many plants and animal species as possible within a designated area and timeframe. During this bioblitz, members of the public will team up with local natural resources experts to explore and learn about the biodiversity and habitat at Chadron State Park. “This is …

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Sensory backpacks introduced at Wildcat Hills

GERING, Neb. – A new offering at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center has special meaning to the person who implemented it. It is a new checkout program for sensory backpacks. Amanda Filipi, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission outdoor education specialist who is based at the center, said she learned of sensory backpacks after her nephew was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. “I read about the sensory backpacks popping up in several different places across the nation, like museums and …

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Enjoy unique 5K race Aug. 17 at Fort Atkinson SHP

LINCOLN, Neb. – For a unique 5K race experience, sign up for the Cannon Fire 5K, to be held Aug. 17 at Fort Atkinson State Historical Park. The 5K takes place at a site filled with Nebraska history, where the first U.S. military post west of the Missouri River was established. The 3.1-mile course will take you through the park’s timber trails and roads. The course includes a hill, gravel and paved paths, and mowed grass portions across the prairie. …

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Lewis & Clark

Paradise in the North There aren’t many places you can pull your boat up on the bank at Lewis and Clark Lake. Water has eroded away hillsides ringing much of the lake, leaving cliffs that reveal colorful layers of Niobrara chalk and Carlisle shale, part of the geology of the area. Below those cliffs, more than 100 feet high in places, the shoreline is just too rocky. Still, boaters make the most of it, anchoring in the shadow of those …

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Night sky is topic of Wildcat Hills program

GERING, Neb. – Attendees of a program at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area will observe and learn about the night sky. The program gets underway at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3. The presenter is Tom Robinson, a Western Nebraska Community College instructor who teaches astronomy. Robinson said attendees will meet at the nature center for an introductory video provided by Hyde Memorial Observatory of Lincoln, then move to the east end of the park …

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Hypothermia safety class for waterfowl hunters set for Aug. 4

LINCOLN, Neb. – Waterfowl hunters are invited to attend a class on hypothermia safety on Aug. 4 at Niobrara State Park. The class covers basic facts of hypothermia, different scenarios hunters might encounter, and how to respond. Then participants will head to the park swimming pool to practice water safety in a controlled environment. Niobrara State Park superintendent Mark Rettig developed the class in response to the numerous hypothermia-related rescues of hunters he sees. “When the water’s cold, it doesn’t …

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Health alert in effect for Willow Creek Lake, Harlan County Reservoir

LINCOLN, Neb. – A health alert is in effect for Willow Creek Lake in Pierce County and the southeast beach at Harlan County Reservoir in Harlan County. The health alert was put in place after high levels of blue-green algae were detected at the lakes during testing by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. It is recommended that visitors to Willow Creek Lake and Harlan County Reservoir avoid full body contact activities such as swimming, wading, skiing and jet skiing. …

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Several state park areas reopen to public use after flooding

LINCOLN, Neb. – Several state recreation areas in the central portion of Nebraska have reopened to the public after closure due to flooding. Union Pacific, Johnson Lake and Gallagher Canyon state recreation areas are all fully open to public use. In addition, Medicine Creek SRA has reopened to public use, with the exception of four campsites in the Shady Bay Campground. Sandy Channel SRA is also partially open. The northern half of the park is open to day use only, …

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Living history event at Fort Atkinson includes special speakers, Smithsonian exhibit

LINCOLN, Neb. – Fort Atkinson State Historical Park will celebrate its bicentennial with a special living history event Aug. 3-4. The event, which will emphasize the relationship between Native Americans and Fort Atkinson’s military, includes special speakers and a traveling Smithsonian exhibit. The exhibit, “Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces,” tells the story of the American Indian and Alaska Native men and women who served in the United States military. Native peoples have participated in every major …

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