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Wildcat Hills Nature Center Closing for Construction

Wildcat Hills Construction
Workers of Paul Reed Construction move dirt Thursday, Sept. 17, to make room for the expansion at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center. (NEBRASKAland/Justin Haag)

The Wildcat Hills Nature Center south of Gering is closing for the season today (Friday, Sept. 18) as construction begins on a large addition to the center. Some services will be moved to a different location.

Although the center’s displays and merchandise will be put in storage during the construction, permits for hunting, fishing and park entry will be sold at the Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area’s shop two miles south along Nebraska Highway 71.

The park, including its campground, trails and picnic shelters, will remain open during construction. Park visitors can pay for an $8 camping site or $5 daily park entry permit at the metal cash box near the campground.

The center is undergoing a $2.375 million expansion, more than doubling the size of the existing 5,300-square-foot structure and bringing additional exhibit and multipurpose space. The construction is projected to be completed in late summer or early fall 2016, with the date of the center’s reopening to be determined later.

About Justin Haag

Justin Haag has served the Commission as a public information officer in the Panhandle since 2013. His duties include serving as regional editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine. Haag was raised in southwestern Nebraska, where he developed a love for fishing, hunting and other outdoor pursuits. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Chadron State College in 1996, he worked four years as an editor and reporter at newspapers in Chadron and McCook. Prior to joining the Commission in 2013, he worked 12 years as a communicator at Chadron State, serving as the institution’s media and public relations coordinator the last five. He and his wife, Cricket, live in Chadron, and have two children.

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