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Campground electricity among Chadron State Park improvements

Chadron SP campground
Every paved campsite at Chadron State Park will soon be able to supply campers with 50-amp electricity. (NGPC/Justin Haag)

Campers at Chadron State Park soon will have more power — more electrical power, that is. Later this year, workers are scheduled to upgrade 44 campsites to 50-amp electricity.

With the 25 other campsites that have received the upgrade in recent years, all of the park’s paved camper sites will now have 50 amps.

The improvements complement many other campground upgrades in recent years, including six sites upgraded to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and a new showerhouse.

Other improvements include the installation of a new ceiling at the Trading Post, the park’s activities center, this winter. That improvement is the latest in a string of projects to give new life to the building, which was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. They include an upgrade to its heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, along with a new restroom, siding, floor and sidewalks.

“With all the improvements, this building has really become a showpiece for the park,” said Gregg Galbraith, park superintendent. “It’s a great place for people to sit down for a drink or snack on a hot summer’s day.”

Prior to the summer, workers are scheduled to finish the new picnic shelter near Pinecone Butte on the north-central portion of the scenic loop road. As a matter of convenience for its users, the new Pinecone Shelter is being constructed closer to the parking stalls than the one it’s replacing, and at a higher elevation with a more scenic vantage.

“It will be easier for people to get from their vehicles to the shelter, and it’s closer to the bathrooms,” Galbraith said.

The old Pinecone shelter was moved and renovated to replace the old Sawmill Shelter, which was sagging from age. It is located near Steamboat Butte on the west side of the scenic loop.

All 16 of the park’s rustic cabins also recently received water valve replacements, along with cabinetry and other improvements.

In addition, new roofing was installed on four cabins and the group event building last year.

“We’ve done a lot of improvements to the group event complex, which continues to gain popularity as a place for people to have meetings,” Galbraith said.

In recent years, the park also has received the new indoor shooting complex, new asphalt pavement and a new entrance sign. The Nebraska Public Power District also upgraded the park’s primary electrical service, including the installation of new transformers.

These projects largely have been funded by Capital Maintenance Funds, which were established by the Nebraska Legislature in 2016 to help preserve Nebraska’s public outdoor recreation facilities and parklands; state and federal sources; and Nebraska Game and Parks’ funds generated from user fees of the state park system.

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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