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Southwest Nebraska state parks get improvements

Guests at southwest Nebraska state park areas were treated to some improvements in 2022, with more set to be completed in 2023. The following is a roundup of those improvements and projects:

Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area

A $1 million boating access project was completed in 2022 to the Area A and No Name Bay boat ramps at Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area near Enders.

Area A improvements include an extended boat ramp and a parking area that now is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other new additions are a breakwater to protect the ramp, staging area near the ramp, and a gravel parking lot with lighting.

At No Name Bay, improvements include upgrading the existing primitive ramp to two lanes of concrete and installing an ADA-compliant parking pad, kayak launch, breakwaters and parking facility with lighting.

Improvements at both areas are made possible through a United States Coast Guard grant and with Nebraska Game and Parks Aquatic Habitat Stamp funds.

Also, a Barracuda fish-cleaning station was installed at nearly $55,000. Upgrades were made to the water lines that service the fish-cleaning station along with the addition of two new hydrants.

In addition, four picnic shelters were re-roofed.

Ash Hollow State Historical Park

Planned improvements at Ash Hollow State Historical Park near Lewellen include upgrading the existing visitors center sidewalk entrance and outside bathrooms to make them ADA-compliant.

A hiking trail will be built on the west side of the park with a National Park Service trails grant, which also will provide funding for wayfinding historical signage.

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park

Construction will begin this year on a new, larger bison habitat area at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park near North Platte.

Medicine Creek State Recreation Area

A new courtesy dock will be installed on Trail 3 at Medicine Creek State Recreation Area near Cambridge this spring. The dock, costing $14,856, was funded through a Sportfish Restoration Boating Access Grant and Aquatic Habitat Stamp funds.

Red Willow State Recreation Area

A new Barracuda fish-cleaning station was installed at Red Willow State Recreation Area near McCook at a cost of nearly $55,000 in 2022.

Sutherland State Recreation Area

A new boat dock was installed for the Westshore campground at Sutherland State Recreation Area near Sutherland. The new dock, valued at$11,677.25, was funded through a Sportfish Restoration Boating Access grant and Aquatic Habitat Stamp funds.

Lake Maloney State Recreation Area

A new courtesy dock was installed for the Outlet Campground at Lake Maloney State Recreation Area near North Platte. The dock cost $14,739 and was funded through a Sportfish Restoration Boating Access grant and Aquatic Habitat Stamp funds.

Two fish-cleaning stations were refurbished in 2022.

Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Area

A new Barracuda fish-cleaning station with a shelter was installed in Spring Canyon area of Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Area near Trenton. The cost of the fish-cleaning station was nearly $55,000. A new boat dock also will be installed in time for use this spring.

These state park system 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 funding sources; and Nebraska Game and Parks’ funds generated from user fees of the state park system.

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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