As Nebraska’s state parks prepare for another summer season, some are adjusting their activity hours because of a limited workforce. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission urges park-goers to call ahead before visiting a park to check on activity times and availability.
Game and Parks annually hires nearly 900 workers across the state to assist with a variety of state park operations during the summer. So far this season, at some larger park operations, there are only about half the needed staff to operate some activities.
“We appreciate everyone’s support and patience as we make the necessary changes to adapt to the current staffing challenges,” Parks Division Administrator Jeff Fields said. “We will do our best to still provide many excellent recreational opportunities that people expect in their parks.”
Fields encourages anyone interested in joining his team to apply at outdoornebraska.gov/careers.
Positions needed include lifeguards, shooting range staff, housekeepers, and concession workers. Training and certification are available for new employees. Game and Parks recently raised the pay rates for seasonal staff by more than 33%.
“Working in the parks is enjoyable and the diversity of opportunity helps build skill sets that are attractive on future job applications,” Fields said. “Opportunities also exist in the Fish and Wildlife divisions of the agency.”
Upcoming park activity schedules include:
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park – Starting May 28, the Family Aquatic Center hours of operation will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday, noon-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Concession offerings will be reduced on those days. The aquatic center is closed Tuesday and Thursday.
Platte River State Park – Starting May 28, the hours of operation at the Outdoor Heritage Education Complex will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p. m. Stations available on those days may be limited depending on staffing.
In addition to reduced pool and shooting range hours at these parks, other activities and amenities that will have reduced hours include marinas, craft centers, golf shack, and activity centers. Call the park office in advance for more information.
Nebraska park entry permits may be purchased online in advance of any park visits. Visit outdoornebraska.gov/parks to find more information, including phone numbers of park areas.