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Game and Parks to restore all camping and swim beaches beginning June 4

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will open more camping opportunities in state park areas starting June 4, when all previous temporary restrictions on recreational vehicle and tent camping will be removed. Designated beaches and swimming areas also will open June 4.

All reservation-only campsites and first-come campsites — other than at Mormon Island State Recreation Area (SRA) and Danish Alps SRA — will be available to all camping units, including RVs, camping trailers and tents. Mormon Island and Danish Alps SRAs will remain closed to overnight camping due to high COVID-19 incidence in those communities.

Camp guests will be able to make reservations online for previously reservable sites or enjoy first-come first-serve camping across the state. Wildlife management areas remain open for camping.

Game and Parks reminds park guests to practice social distancing to ensure compliance with the state’s Directed Health Measures amid the COVID-19 health situation.

“With high demand for camping and outdoor recreational opportunities, and changes in the state’s Directed Health Measures, we are pleased to restore camping opportunities and allow guests to participate in activities they love – making memories in our parks,” said Director Jim Douglas. “We appreciate everyone enthusiasm and patience during these times we have worked to provide opportunities, while at the same time helping to protect the health of the public and our staff.”

The following measures will go into effect June 4:

• Game and Parks will return to the traditional format of combination advance reservation and first-come first-serve camping across the state. The park areas that will accommodate advance reservations for up to 50% of available campsites are listed on the agency website OutdoorNebraska.org.

• To provide for more opportunity for campers, the maximum length of stay will be seven days. Park offices remain closed at this time. Campers must pay for reserved sites online or for first-come first-serve sites via iron rangers.

• Shower houses and modern restrooms will open. Guests should bring soap or disinfecting wipes as availability of sanitation products is limited nationally.

• Outdoor playgrounds will open but guests should bring their own hand sanitizer.

• Designated beaches and designated swimming areas will open.

“We are thrilled at the prospect of more people enjoying our parks, but it is critical that they recreate responsibly,” said Parks Division Administrator Jim Swenson. “Responsible recreation is very important, and guests need to continue to practice social distancing, follow all posted rules, keep group sizes small and practice good personal hygiene.”

Those visiting parks should follow these guidelines to recreate responsibly:

• Maintain a 6-foot distance between other guests.

• Engage in recreational activities only with members of your household.

• Stick to low-risk activities to reduce stress on local emergency response and health care systems.

• Minimize travel distance from home. If your intended location is congested, come back at another time or move to a nearby, less-crowded site.

• Pack — and use — hand sanitizer often.

• Avoid high-touch areas. Clean public use surfaces, such as boat dock handrails and fish cleaning stations, with disinfecting wipes prior to use.

• If boating, do not congregate at boat ramps, boat docks, and beach areas.

• If you are sick, or have been exposed to someone who is sick with COVID-19, stay home.

• Leave no trace: Pack out everything you bring with you.

Remember all regulations and license options remain unchanged. Park guests are encouraged to buy state park and fishing permits ahead of time at OutdoorNebraska.org or at a vendor. Print them out to carry along.

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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