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A magical time in northwestern Nebraska

Spring and early summer is a magical time of year that leaves us too quickly. It seems I never get out with the cameras as much as I want to during this period, but usually end up with a few keeper images, anyway. Here is a collection of random photos from recent weeks. I am often amused when any given chamber of commerce or tourism bureau brags on its sunrises and sunsets being the best. (Since we are all watching …

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Wildcat Hills: A Wild Place

Whether you’re looking for state-of-the-art facilities, or just a great view in the pines, this Panhandle park has it. High on the list of Nebraska’s captivating scenery and natural assets are the Wildcat Hills. It seems an understatement to label this topographical spectacle as “hills,” as it is actually a land of rugged buttes, ridges and canyons with topographical elements rising upwards to 1,000 feet above the North Platte Valley. Some of the state’s most recognizable landforms – Chimney Rock, …

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A Stitch in Time

In the world of living history, the clothes make the man (and woman). The cannon smoke has mostly dispersed, visitors are trickling back to the parking lot, and Sarah Dack is taking a break. She portrays an officer’s wife at Fort Kearny State Historical Park’s living history events, and looks every inch the part. Dack is wearing a big-brimmed sunbonnet, leather ankle boots, a sky-blue skirt, and a muslin shirt with pearl buttons, a stand-up collar, and a gathered yoke. …

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Girl Scouts invited to learn new outdoor skills during Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend

LINCOLN, Neb. – There are still spots available for Girl Scouts to take part in the first ever Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend July 13-14 at various state recreation areas throughout Nebraska. Several state recreation areas including Fort Kearny, Lewis and Clark, Lake McConaughy and Wildcat Hills will offer free programming designed to help Girl Scouts and their families discover nature and challenge themselves to try new things. Activities are designed to encourage development of numerous outdoor skills and …

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Celebrate Independence Day with living history at Fort Atkinson

LINCOLN, Neb. – On July 6-7, Fort Atkinson State Historical Park will celebrate Independence Day with living history and several special features, including a Smithsonian exhibit and a Blackhawk helicopter static display on Saturday. Living history at Fort Atkinson includes blacksmiths, soldiers, laundresses, seamstresses and others portraying the world of the fort, complete with military drills, cannon firings and displays of period skills. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions and interact with the volunteers. From noon to 3:30 p.m. on …

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The Worst Excuses For Not Wearing A Life Jacket

It bothers me to no end that people have such cavalier excuses regarding why they don’t want to wear life jackets on the water in a boat. In my 40 years at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission I have seen my share of boating tragedies. I have seen the victims of boating fatalities who were not wearing their life jackets. You never, ever forget them. Often the victims of those fatalities died right in front of close family members …

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Fort Robinson restaurant back to normal hours

CRAWFORD, Neb. – The restaurant at Fort Robinson State Park will return to its normal operating hours Saturday, June 29. The restaurant, located in the park’s headquarters, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. It has been operating on an abbreviated schedule this month because of a staffing shortage.

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Bat program next up in state park speaker series

CRAWFORD, Neb. — A summer speaker series in northwestern Nebraska’s two state parks continues with a program about the fascinating and often misunderstood flying mammals of the night — bats. Amanda Filipi, a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission outdoor education specialist, will deliver the presentation Friday, June 28, at 8 p.m. It will be at Fort Robinson State Park’s Soldier Creek Campground shelter house, just off U.S. Highway 20. The program is targeted to park visitors of all ages. The …

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Forsberg exhibit on display at Wildcat Hills

GERING, Neb. – A traveling photography exhibit by renowned nature photographer Michael Forsberg of Lincoln is on display at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area through Aug. 20. Forsberg will greet the public during a reception Thursday, June 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the center’s Ponderosa Room. Forsberg’s imagery of wildlife and landscapes has long been revered for its contribution to conservation. His honors include the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography from the Sierra …

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Cottonwood Lake reopens

MERRIMAN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has reopened Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area. Park superintendent Diane Burress said visitors to the park should be cautious and choose camping areas wisely. Shallow water remains over the paved entrance road in places, and some camping areas are still flooded or muddy. Flooding prompted closure of the Sandhills park in late May.

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