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Park related articles and blogs from the staff of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Panhandle Passages: Taking Root


Every little bit helps, and every little bit has a way of turning into a big bit. Such is the case with the Boy Scouts’ annual tree planting event at Fort Robinson State Park, which I enjoyed photographing Saturday. The process of getting hundreds of scouts and volunteers into the field to plant ponderosa pine seedlings in the yearly reforestation effort has been honed to near perfection and is a sight to see. It was a bittersweet day, though, for ... Read More »

Final trees planted in 25-year project at Fort Robinson

Jim Schmitt of Dalton hands out ponderosa pine seedlings for planting in the Spring Creek area of Fort Robinson State Park and Wildlife Management Area. Haag,

All the roots have been planted for a northwestern Nebraska reforestation program. Now, the project has been turned over to Mother Nature. About 1,400 members of the Boy Scouts of the Longs Peak Council and other volunteers planted 10,500 trees at Fort Robinson State Park on Saturday, the final chapter of an annual effort to reforest areas burned in a massive 1989 wildfire. The planting marked the 25th and final year for the event. The planters were greeted with seasonably ... Read More »

Throwback Thursday: MONSTER!


Did you know that Nebraska has one of the most fascinating accounts of a Loch ness-style lake monster on what is now a state recreation area? According to a 1923 article in the Omaha World-Herald newspaper, a man named J.A. Johnson claimed that he and two friends had seen a creature dwelling in what was then called Alkalai Lake (now Walgren Lake State Recreation Area) near Hay Springs in northwest Nebraska. He stated that he knew of forty others who had ... Read More »

Rain Dance, Smell of the Morel


I did a rain dance outside in the front yard of my home in the Metcalfe Park Neighborhood of Omaha, NE earlier this morning. Like the outfit (my jammies)? My poor neighbor, Brian, had to witness the rain dance while backing out of his driveway to go to work, sorry about that, Brian. Hey, precipitation is falling, woo-hoo! As a nature lover, how could one not think about the benefit of this moisture to the soil and, of course, for morel mushrooms in the woods! ... Read More »

Spend Spring Break in a Cool State Park on WOWT 6 Outdoors


On my Weekly WOWT 6 News Outdoor Report,  I’ll be reminding you that our scenic Nebraska state park lands make for cool destinations when it comes to taking a scenic spring break hike, mountain biking expedition or fitness run! Maybe you’ll just take a leisurely walk off one of the hiking trails to explore? Get more information on using state park lands this time of year by tuning in to the LIVE version of my report which airs on Thursday ... Read More »

Panhandle Passages: Soldier Creek Runs Through It

The middle fork of Soldier Creek flows over rocks.

Some of western Nebraska’s most enjoyable fishing can be found at the ponds on the 22,000 acres of Fort Robinson State Park. Count me among the anglers who have long enjoyed dropping a line at the Carter P. Johnson Lake, Ice House Ponds and Grabel Ponds. Whether from the bank, through the ice, or atop kayaks and jon boats, the ponds serve as a great fishing destination. The scenery is great and the whopper largemouth bass and other species are ... Read More »

Correction: Free Fishing and Park Entry Day on May 17

In the March 2014 issue of NEBRASKAland Magazine, the incorrect date was listed for the Free Fishing and Park Entry Day. Always held the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend, this year the Free Fishing and Park Entry Day is May 17. On this day, park and fishing entry permits are not required when visiting state parks, historical parks and recreation areas in Nebraska but all other fee requirements, laws and regulations remain in effect. For more information on Free Park ... Read More »

Outdoors Goes Indoors on WOWT 6 News Outdoor Report


With the cold spell, my Weekly Outdoor Report on Omaha’s WOWT 6 News goes indoors this week to show you a great place where you can take your kids for some good, fun, wholesome physical activity. Recognize the place? Let’s go outside for a glance at the building. Look on top of the hill in the photo below. Get more information on one of Nebraska’s neat recreational destinations by tuning in to my outdoor report on WOWT 6 tomorrow (Thursday) ... Read More »

Ice Skating at Mahoney on WOWT 6 Outdoors


I’m always a good sport. Seriously, I am! So, in the true spirit of the Winter Olympic Games, I took to the covered, open-air ice skating rink at Mahoney State Park for a fun feature on this week’s Outdoor Report on Omaha’s WOWT  6 News. How do you think I faired skating on the ice there? Here are a few snap shots. Be sure to tune in and see the (somewhat hilarious) video at 6 p.m. CST Thursday on WOWT 6 News during the sportscast  with ... Read More »

Are You Voting Every Day?


Are you voting daily in Take Me Fishing’s Top Family Fishing & Boating Spots Sweepstakes? I am! See below. Take a look at these photos of my Son Noah fishing. Can you guess where he’s wetting a line? It’s one of the top four Nebraska park lands listed in the Take Me Fishing sweepstakes. Here’s another photo for you to ponder. Arguably, in my view, with 34 years of experience at Game and Parks, more kids and people have gotten hooked on ... Read More »