LINCOLN – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has secured a grant to build a proposed Environmental Education Trail at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park (SP) near Ashland.
The self-guided Environmental Education Trail would be created to inform children about the interconnectedness of the natural world’s living and non-living components through interpretive signs and interactive stations that physically engage park guests and students.
The trail would be part of a proposed Environmental Education Expansion Project, an effort to improve and expand upon existing naturalist programs at the park. Mahoney SP is the coordinator for naturalist programs in the four Platte Valley State Parks, which also includes Platte River SP and Schramm Park State Recreation Area (SRA) and Louisville SRA. Mahoney SP has five full-time naturalists during the summer months and on weekends during the remainder of the year.
The goal of the $50,000 3M Eco Grant 2015 is, according to 3M, to improve science-based environmental and conservation education for youth from preschool through grade 12.
Funding will be used to partially fund a head naturalist. It also will be used to develop indoor and outdoor environmental education displays and interactive trail development featuring the area’s water, forest, animal, fauna, and air quality characteristics.