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Explore the parks with these Game and Parks events in July

Spend some time this summer in Nebraska’s state parks. During July, a variety of events are planned for those interested in history, conservation, nature and just having a good time. Here are several examples:

Fort Atkinson to host Living History July 2-3

Travel 200 years back in time and experience living history weekend at Fort Atkinson State Historical Park on July 2-3.

On both days, Donald Hickey, a historian of the War of 1812, will present the history of the American flag, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” at the Fort Atkinson Council House at 11 a.m. Ice cream will be served at 12:15 p.m. both days near the Council House, followed by a Concert in the Park at 12:25.

A vehicle park entry permit is required. For more information, see the calendar entry at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov.

Patriotic Quilt Display at Arbor Lodge through July

Nebraska City Blue Star Mothers are hosting a display of Quilts of Valor throughout Arbor Lodge Mansion at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park through July 31.

View this collection while also learning about Morton family veterans and their patriotic service.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the calendar entry at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov.

Niobrara State Park to host Buffalo Cookout and program

Niobrara State Park will host a Buffalo Cookout with a Humanities Nebraska Program on July 2.

The event is at the Buffalo Cookout Pavilion, with the meal at 6 p.m. and the program, “History of Trick Roping and Wild West Shows,” following.

Reservations must be made by noon July 2. The prices are $15 for age 13 and older and $12 for 12 and younger. Call 402-857-3373 for reservations.

A vehicle park entry permit is required.

Lewis and Clark SRA to feature program about Jesse James

Author and historian Jeff Barnes will present “Bad Man in a Better Place: Jesse James in Nebraska” on July 2 at Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area. The program begins at 7 p.m. at the Weigand Picnic Shelter.

Barnes shares what’s known of the truth, the fiction, and the legend of Jesse James in Nebraska.

This presentation is made possible by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and Game and Parks as part of the HN Speakers Bureau.

A vehicle park entry permit is required.

Learn about geocaching at Niobrara State Park

Learn about geocaching at Niobrara State Park on July 8-9. Enjoy s’mores from 7-9 p.m. at the RV Campground while discovering more about geocaching from Gary and Liz Doerr.

At 9 a.m. July 9, the Doerrs will have more information on geocaching at an event at the Buffalo Cookout Pavilion.

Niobrara State Park has more than 90 caches for beginners to experienced geocachers.

Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas field training July 10

Sign up for field training at 1 p.m. Mountain time July 10 at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area to gain hands-on experience with the Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas.

The Atlas is a community science project aiming to track and conserve bumble bees in the state. Participants will learn the Atlas protocol, including netting, chilling and photographing bees, as well as data recording and entry.

A vehicle park entry permit is required. For more information or to register, visit the calendar entry at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov.

Red Willow Family Fun Night set for July 6

Red Willow Reservoir State Recreation Area will host Red Willow Family Fun Night on July 6.

A cookout starts things off at 6 p.m. at the Spring Creek boat ramp area, followed by activities from 7-9:30 p.m. near the swim beach. Activities include fishing, archery, kayaking and s’mores.

A vehicle park entry permit is required.

Summer Nights at Schramm is July 21

The Schramm Education Center will stay open late July 21 just for the fun of it, with special activities available from 5-8 p.m.

At 6 p.m., work with a group to solve a mystery by collecting clues outside the Education Center to figure out who stole the Treasured Trout. There will be a guided hike at 8 p.m. to see what is out and about after dark, with the focus on moths.

Schramm Education Center admission fees apply. A vehicle park vehicle permit is not required in the Education Center parking lot. For more information, see the calendar entry at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov.

Wildcat Hills SRA to host bioblitz July 15-16

Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area will host a bioblitz on July 15-16, when natural resource experts and community volunteers come together to discover the biodiversity of the area.

The event, designed for the entire family, is free, but a vehicle park entry permit is required.

For more information, see the calendar entry at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov.

Western Wildlife Art Show at Fort Robinson July 2-4

Fort Robinson State Park will host the Western Wildlife Art Show July 2-4.

The event will showcase some of the best oil, water and tea paintings, sculptures, baskets, pottery, jewelry and more in the old horse stables at the Veterinary Building. The show will be open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mountain time.

Fort Robinson also will host the 43rd Army Band concert July 2, a barbeque July 4 and the Halligan Agency Ranch Sorting July 9-10. Call 308-665-2900 for more information. A vehicle park entry permit is required.

Merritt to host Nebraska Star Party July 24-29

Take advantage of Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area’s dark skies and enjoy the wonders of the night sky during the 29th annual Nebraska Star Party on July 24-29.

The center of activity will be the large tent on the Observing Field near the entrance to the Snake Campground. Activities at the tent will include meals, constellation talks and door prize giveaways.

For more information and registration, visit NebraskaStarParty.org.

Crofton’s Dam Race is July 30 at Lewis and Clark SRA

The Crofton Dam Race 2022 will be July 30 at Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area. Choose between a sprint triathlon with kayaking instead of swimming, a half-marathon, or a 12-mile bike race.

Registration fees increase after July 23.

For more information or to register, visit croftonsdamrace.com.

Discover Snakes of Nebraska July 30-31 at Schramm

The Schramm Education Center at Schramm Park State Recreation Area will host the Snakes of Nebraska event July 30-31.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln herpetologist Dennis Ferraro and his lab will lead a live snake encounter featuring most of Nebraska’s native snakes from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each day.

The event is free, but Schramm Education Center admission fees apply for anyone who also chooses to visit the Education Center. A vehicle park entry permit is not required in the Education Center parking lot. Use the classroom entrance on the left side of the building to visit the event.

For more information, contact Jen Ruyle at jennifer.ruyle@nebraska.gov or 402-332-5022.

Enjoy Picnic in the Park at Platte River State Park

Bring your basket and blanket to Platte River State Park on July 16 for Picnic in the Park.

Provide your own spread or the Walter Scott Jr. Lodge will be open for dine-in or take-out from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., with Steak Night beginning at 5 p.m.

Naturalist activities will be available throughout the day. Registration for a picnic decorating contest is open through July 14. Call 402-234-2217 for more information.

A vehicle park entry permit is required.

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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