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Lake Minatare opening to birdwatchers Dec. 7

MINATARE, Neb. — The public will have a special opportunity for viewing birds during an event at Lake Minatare State Recreation Area on Saturday, Dec. 7. The day marks the only opportunity for the public to access the 2,158-acre reservoir on the North Platte National Wildlife Refuge for its annual closure between Oct. 15 and Jan. 14. Birdwatchers who want to participate may arrive at Scout’s Rest Cabin at the lake’s northwest corner any time from 10 a.m. to noon …

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Wildcat Hills event brings nature to holiday decor

GERING, Neb. — A free workshop at Wildcat Hills Nature Center will help participants use items found in nature to make the holidays more festive. “Nature’s Gifts: Decorations from the Great Outdoors” will be Saturday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. MST. Amanda Filipi, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission outdoor education specialist, will provide instruction for creating festive ornaments and crafts from items found in nature. On the list of projects are bird feeders, including those constructed in garland fashion. Some …

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Holiday celebration set at Bowring Ranch

MERRIMAN, Neb. – Tickets are on sale for Christmas at the Bowring, the annual holiday celebration at Bowring Ranch State Historical Park. The event will be Saturday, Dec. 14, at 6 p.m. MST. The celebration will include a rib-eye steak dinner with trimmings, live music by the Twin River Band and door prizes. Tickets, which are $25 each, may be purchased now through Dec. 6 and are sold only in advance. To reserve tickets, call the park’s visitors center at …

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1878 is theme for 25th Fort Robinson Christmas dinner

CRAWFORD, Neb. – Tickets will soon go on sale for the 25th Christmas dinner at Fort Robinson State Park. The event Dec. 7 will take people back to 1878, an important year in the fort’s history. The 200 ticket-holders of the event at the park’s Buffalo Soldiers Barracks will be treated to the same menu as the one of that year, when it was a military post for the U.S. Cavalry. The dinner will include turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, …

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Kayak Kid Essay Competition accepting submissions through Oct. 21

LINCOLN, Neb. – Youth are invited to enter the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Kayak Kid Essay Competition for the chance to win an outdoors prize package. The contest requires a handwritten 250-word essay expressing why growing up in the outdoors is important. Entries must include a photo of the essay writer at one of the southwest region parks or reservoirs, including Johnson Lake, Elwood Reservoir, Gallagher Canyon Reservoir, Lake Maloney, Sutherland Reservoir, Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park and …

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Nebraska’s Varied and Vibrant Colors of October

It’s the month for pumpkin-spiced everything in coffee shops. It’s the month for Halloween supplies to fly off the shelves at stores. It’s the month when campfires in rings are prevalent in the campgrounds of state parks and recreation areas. It’s the month for the crop harvest to be underway. And, it’s the month when leaves turn color. Eastern cottonwood tree leaves beginning to turn their pretty yellow color along the Platte River in southern Sarpy County, NE. Photo by …

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Tower at Mahoney State Park to close temporarily

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Walter Scott Jr. Observation Tower and surrounding trails at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park will be closed temporarily due to construction starting Oct. 1. The temporary closure will accommodate the painting of the tower and Riverview Event Center construction, a Venture Parks project scheduled for completion in the fall of 2020. The tower and trails will reopen at completion of the construction projects. For information about Mahoney State Park and upcoming activities, visit OutdoorNebraska.org.

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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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