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greg wagner

A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Communications and Marketing Specialist and Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's Service Center in Omaha. On a weekly basis, Wagner can be heard on a number of radio stations, seen on local television in Omaha, and on social media channels, creatively conveying natural resource conservation messages as well as promoting outdoor activities and destinations in Nebraska. Wagner, whose career at Game and Parks began in 1979, walks, talks, lives, breathes and blogs about Nebraska’s outdoors. He grew up in rural Gretna, building forts in the woods, hunting, fishing, collecting leaves, and generally thriving on constant outdoor activity. One of the primary goals of his blog is to get people, especially young ones, to have fun and spend time outside!

Husker Bananas

Pickin’ Up Pawpaws in Nebraska Ever tried a paw paw? It is “delish!” The pawpaw or common pawpaw is an oblong-shaped fruit, yellow-green to brown in color, averaging the size of a standard supermarket potato. It produces the largest edible fruit indigenous to North America and is the hardiest member of the custard-apple family. And, guess what? In Nebraska, the highly aromatic, sweet-smelling fruits ripen right about now in late September or early October. Like bananas, they have a narrow …

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Accessible Outdoors; A Letter to Tyler

About 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the population — have a disability, according to the the latest U.S. Census done in 2010. It revealed that nearly one in every five people in the United States, has a disability that significantly limits one or more major life activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, breathing, thinking, and so forth. Furthermore, the population of the United States is aging. By the year 2030, 110 million people will be older than 55. …

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Safety First with Campfires, and then Marshmallows, Hot Dogs

A camping trip is not complete without spending some time around a campfire in the evening. Swapping stories and roasting marshmallows to make s’mores is all part of it! There is no question that a campfire provides the backdrop for lots of outdoor fun and camaraderie. But, if folks are careless, those campfires can ignite a damaging wildfire or severely injury a person. So, what do you need to know about campfires? First, we have some ground to cover (no …

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Float a Water Trail!

“They connect us. They run through us. Our bodies are roughly 60 percent water. Newborn babies are 78 percent. Is it any wonder we are drawn to rivers, is it any wonder we want to return to them again and again?” –  Amy Souers Kober.  Floating one of Nebraska’s various water trails in the summer is great for so many reasons! You can do it for the adventure of going somewhere you’ve never been. You can do it to make connections and …

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Go Off the Grid in the Sandhills

“There is delight in the hardy life of the open.” – Theodore Roosevelt. My, my we are all are so reliant on the ‘grid’ of modern technology. With computers, the Internet, Smart phones, IPads and even the computerized sensors and chips that make our motor vehicles run, every move we make it seems cannot be done without entering the technological sphere. Oh, and let’s not forget about the convenience of electricity either.  All of this high-tech gadgetry is a positive thing in our daily lives, right? But wouldn’t it be nice to disconnect and take …

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Never Too Late To Start (Turkey) Hunting

I have always held the opinion that younger adults are a portion of the population that could be recruited into the lifestyle of hunting. After all, they have time and money to spend on it. They just need someone to guide them through the process of becoming a hunter, and then, of course, to take them to the field. I believe involving younger adults could prove to be one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to generate a new …

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Confessions of a Recreational Birdwatcher

I am a recreational birdwatcher, and proud of it! Even if I could get organized enough to keep a life list of birds I’ve seen, I simply enjoy just watching them and attempting to get some decent photos of them to share with you. Birders, or avid birders, as I call them, are easy to identify. They each keep a remarkable log of bird sightings to include the description of the species, numbers of them, date and time seen, as well as habitat and weather conditions along with any bird …

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Spring Wild Edibles: There’s More Than Morels!

“A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. The morel mushroom picking season is well underway in Nebraska. But, did you know there are other spring delicacies growing wild in the Cornhusker State’s outdoor scene? Oh yes, there sure are! Nebraska offers an abundance and diversity of edible wild plants that can be harvested in the simplest of locations, especially in the springtime. Many of these can be acquired while on a morel mushroom hunt! The spring season (April/May) truly …

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Top 10 Nebraska State Park Lands

Nebraska is chocked full of wonderful state park lands. From the home of the state’s tallest waterfall to the Ozark-like bluffs along the Missouri River, the state’s 77 state park lands encompassing some 72,165 acres are diverse and have much to offer the park goer.  These public areas serve to show us that natural beauty, spectacular scenery and fun outdoor recreation is not far from any point in the state. Compiling a list of the 10 best state park lands in …

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Time for Tick Talk

EEEEK! TICK! The ticks are out! In Nebraska, ticks become active early in the spring and are one of the first biting pests we experience as the weather warms. Ticks are part of Nebraska’s environment, and they shouldn’t stop any of us from pursuing our favorite outdoor activities this time of year — wild turkey hunting, morel mushroom picking, bird watching, tent camping, hiking, fishing, etc. We just need to take the necessary precautions to dissuade these little buggers from crawling on us, embedding …

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