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Community Leaders Stepping Up to Extend Park Seasons

LINCOLN, Neb. – Community leaders are committing resources to keep open Pelican Point, Oliver Reservoir, Rock Creek and Cottonwood Lake state recreation areas. These parks are among the 29 state park areas targeted for temporary closure by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

In addition, community leaders are working to provide staffing and funding to reinstate events this fall and winter at Arbor Lodge, Fort Atkinson and Buffalo Bill Ranch state historical parks and Alexandria State Recreation Area.

Game and Parks recently announced the temporary closure of all services and vehicle access at 24 state recreation areas and five state historical parks from fall to spring. Except for the dates of any reinstated events, Fort Atkinson would close Oct. 7 and reopen May 1, 2014 and Arbor Lodge would close Sept. 23 and reopen April 23.

The reason for the temporary park closures is to redirect Game and Parks staff and resources from the closed areas in an effort to reduce the more than $30 million backlog of deferred maintenance needs and meet compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and environmental requirements.

“Game and Parks is willing to work with local leaders and organizations so they can host events or extend the open period at park areas impacted by the temporary closures,” Game and Parks Director Jim Douglas said. “We understand the importance of these events to local communities and it is gratifying that they understand our challenges and are working with us to continue services at these park areas.”

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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