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Statewide Park Improvement Projects

Paddleboats at the Chadron State Park Pond in Dawes County. Paddleboats at the newly renovated pond at Chadron State Park stand ready for use.

Nebraska’s state parks are treasured destinations for outdoor recreation and have been for nearly 100 years. In order to keep our state parks, state historical parks and state recreation areas vibrant, beautiful and well-maintained, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has been working hard to upgrade aging infrastructure and add new amenities. Expand the blue bars below for a comprehensive list of completed upgrades.

Restrooms and Showers

Restrooms and showers were upgraded or replaced at the following park areas between 2014-18. All restrooms and shower houses on this list are ADA-compliant:

  • Alexandria SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Ash Hollow SHP – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Bluestem SRA – Two (2) ADA compliant pre-cast latrines
  • Branched Oak SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Bridgeport SRA – Latrine at swimming beach area upgraded with ADA compliant features
  • Calamus SRA – Shower building replaced with ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building and two (2) ADA compliant pre-cast latrines at Homestead Knolls campground
  • Chadron State Park – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Conestoga SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Cottonwood Lake SRA – Two (2) ADA compliant pre-cast latrines
  • Enders Reservoir SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Fort Kearny SRA – Two (2) ADA compliant pre-cast latrines
  • Fremont SRA– ADA compliant pre-cast latrine and ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building
  • Gallagher Canyon SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Indian Cave State Park – Two (2) ADA compliant pre-cast latrines and ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building
  • Johnson Lake SRA – Shower building replaced with ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building
  • Lake McConaughy SRA – Shower building replaced with ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building, two (2) ADA compliant pre-cast latrines and six (6) ADA compliant constructed latrines.
  • Lake Minatare SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine, ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building and ADA compliant constructed latrine.
  • Lake Ogallala SRA – Shower and latrine replaced with ADA compliant precast shower/latrine building
  • Lewis and Clark Lake SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building
  • Long Pine SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Louisville SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine and ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building
  • Maloney Reservoir SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Memphis Lake SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Mormon Island SRA – Shower building replaced with ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building. Shower building was renovated with LED lighting, new siding, and improved shower stalls. This project was made possible with funds from the 309 program.
  • Niobrara SP – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine and ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building
  • Pawnee SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Platte River State Park – Two (2) ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Ponca SP – Two (2) ADA compliant pre-cast latrines and an ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building
  • Red Willow Reservoir SRA – Two (2) ADA compliant pre-cast latrines
  • Rock Creek Lake– ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Rock Creek Station SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building
  • Rockford SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Sandy Channel SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Sherman Reservoir SRA– ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Stagecoach SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Summit Lake SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine and ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building
  • Swanson Reservoir SRA – Two (2) ADA compliant pre-cast latrines and an ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building
  • Two Rivers SRA – Two (2) ADA compliant pre-cast latrines and an ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building
  • Union Pacific SRA – ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Wagon Train SRA– ADA compliant pre-cast latrine
  • Willow Creek SRA –Two (2) ADA compliant pre-cast latrines
  • Windmill SRA – Shower building replaced with ADA compliant pre-cast shower/latrine building

Electrical Upgrades

Electrical upgrades have been installed at the following locations. All upgraded electrical pedestals can accommodate 20, 30 and 50 amps.

  • Enders Reservoir – 19 pedestals were upgraded to 50 amp – all pedestals at Enders are now 50 amp
  • Fort Kearny SRA – A new ADA-accessible camping pad was installed
  • Fort Robinson SP – Electrical and HVAC Upgrade 309 Bldg. This project was made possible with funds from the 309 program.
  • Indian Cave SP – 44 new 50 amp pedestals, 25 located in the Hackberry Hollow campground and 19 located in the Ash Grove campground
  • Lake McConaughy SRA – 42 sites at Little Thunder Campground were upgraded to 50 amp thanks in part to a grant from the Keith County Visitor’s Committee
  • Lake Minatare SRA –  50 sites at Butte View Campground and 12 sites at Lake View Campground were upgraded to 50 amp.
  • Lake Ogallala SRA – 44 pedestals were upgraded, 82 sites at Lake Ogallala Campground upgraded to 50 amp thanks in part to a grant from the Keith County Visitor’s Committee
  • Lake Maloney SRA – 56 pedestals at Kansas Point campground were upgraded
  • Medicine Creek SRA – 44 sites to be upgraded to 50 amp service and new transformer to be installed in Trail 4 area
  • Niobrara State Park – Campsites at the park were upgrade and a new cookout shelter was constructed through State Park Improvement and Maintenance funds
  • Red Willow SRA – 33 pedestals were upgraded to 50 amp service and 2 new 400 amp panels were installed

The following projects were completed with Title 28 funds from the Bureau of Reclamation.

  • Calamus SRA – 39 pedestals were upgraded at Nunda Shoals campground; 24 pedestals were upgraded at Homestead Knolls campground; 10 50-amp pads were added at Valley View campground; 2 ADA complaint pre-cast latrines at Homestead Knolls campground
  • Lake Minatare SRA – Electrical pedestals were upgraded to 50-amp at the main campground
  • Medicine Creek SRA – Eight electrical pedestals were installed at the Trail #4 campground; 44 sites to be upgraded to 50 amp service in Trail 4 area; new transformer to be installed in Trail 4 area
  • Merritt Reservoir – 10 pads at Cedar Bay campground were upgraded to 50-amp; 21 pads at Willow Cove Campground were upgraded to 50-amp; 10 50-amp sites were installed at Boardman Creek campground
  • Red Willow SRA – 33 pedestals were upgraded to 50 amp service and 2 new 400 amp panels were installed
  • Swanson SRA – Five electrical pedestals were upgraded to 50-amp service

Water System Upgrades

Water system upgrades have been completed at the following locations.

  • Enders Reservoir SRA – A drinking water well, distribution lines and eight hydrants. This project was made possible with funds from the Title 28 grant from the Bureau of Reclamation
  • Fort Kearny SRA – A pressurized drinking water well was installed
  • Indian Cave State Park – Partnership with Richardson County Rural Water to upgrade water system in progress
  • Long Pine SRA – A replacement well was installed at the campgrounds
  • Medicine Creek SRA – 4 new hydrants to be installed in Trail 4 area to be completed 2019 with Title 28 funds from the Bureau of Reclamation.
  • Platte River State Park – A water tower was established and the rural water connection and distribution system for the park was updated with funds appropriated in 2014
  • Rock Creek SHP – New lagoon and septic system to be completed 2019

Other Projects

Additional projects completed between 2016 – 2018:

  • Ash Hollow SHP – 20 new picnic tables
  • Bridgeport SRA –  Installed group fire rings and special event bleachers and platform in the Picnic Area; New entrance signs installed; 3 horseshoe pits installed within the park; Group fire rings were installed at Center Lake area
  • Buffalo Bill SHP – Barn roof refinished; Hardwood floors refinished in mansion; Porches and railings on mansion to be rebuilt
  • Chadron State Park – Renovated Cabin 106 for ADA accessibility and updated plumbing in all group cabins thanks to funding from the 309 program.
  • Danish Alps SRA – ADA compliant cement walkway that provides a connection between the parking lot, ADA compliant fishing pier and ADA compliant fish cleaning station thanks to funding from the Papio Missouri NRD.
  • Enders Reservoir – Five target archery range
  • Fort Hartsuff SHP – New roofs on Quartermaster’s Storehouse, Quartermaster’s Stable and Commanding Officer’s Quarters; Chimneys tucked on Storehouse, Laundress Quarters, Stables, Officers Quarters, Commanding Officer’s Quarters and Hospital thanks to funding from the 309 program.
  • Fort Kearny SRA – A new two lane dump station
  • Fort Robinson State Park – Replace Siding on Buffalo Barracks; Reroof of Firehall, Barn 105 and 106; Porch Roof Replacement; Post Playhouse updated HVAC; HVAC in Bricks group lodging facilities. Projects made possible thanks to funding from the 309 program.
  • Fremont Lakes SRA – Sewer system upgrade at Victory Lake shower houses and dump station
  • Johnson Lake – Wildlife viewing blind installed
  • Lake McConaughy – 300 new picnic tables and ground grills were installed at camping areas across the park; A new Gate House was installed at Cedar View along with renovations to the existing shop and office facility;   Otter Creek Area received an upgraded Fish Cleaning Station with new table and grinder; Martin Bay and Cedar View Fish Cleaning Stations were upgraded with new, higher strength grinders; New Gate Houses were installed at Sandy Beach and Arthur Bay entrances;  A Pollinator Garden was established along with other renovations at the Outdoor Discovery Area at the Lake McConaughy Water Center; The Ethel Abbott Theater, Balancing Unlimited Needs topographic display and Water for Communities displays were upgraded with new automated audio/visual systems thanks in part to grants from the Nebraska Water Center Foundation and Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District;  A new display entitled “Water for Food” was installed in the Lake McConaughy Water Center thanks in part to a grant by the University of Nebraska’s Water for Food Institute and the Nebraska Water Center Foundation;
  • Lake Ogallala SRA – A new Gate House was installed on the west side of the reservoir along with several traffic control measures;  A new ADA compliant floating fishing bridge was installed in the northwest corner of the reservoir; The fish cleaning station was upgraded with a new, higher strength grinder
  • Medicine Creek SRA – Nine hole disc golf course; Four target archery range; 25 campsite pads being extended in Trail 4 area thanks to Title 28 funds form the Bureau of Reclamation.
  • Mormon Island SRA – Maintenance shop was re-sided thanks to funds from the 309 program.
  • Rock Creek Lake – New boat ramp and dock
  • Smith Falls State Park – Removed and replaced roof on the office and shop thanks to funds from the 309 program.
  • Swanson Reservoir – Four target archery range
  • Two Rivers SRA – Upgrade bathrooms, kitchens, and cupolas of 8 of 10 lodging cabooses, with all 10 to be completed in 2019

Additional projects completed between 2014 – 2016:

  • Ponca State Park – In 2016 the 57-year-old swimming pool was replaced with a new ADA-compliant zero-depth entry pool, splash pad, water slide and new restroom and shower house with State Park Improvement and Maintenance Funds as well as Park Cash and Land and Water Conservation Funds. Additionally, a new boat ramp was added at Ponca State Park.
  • Fort Robinson State Park – Donations and NORDA funds allowed for the 2015 construction of a new a duplex-style lodge that combines historical features with modern amenities. The design of the building replicates historic officer’s quarters constructed when Fort Robinson was still used as a fort. Additionally at Fort Robinson: a new roof and siding were added at the Post Playhouse storage facility; decking and porches were replaced at Officer’s Row.
  • Indian Cave State Park – Road improvements including resurfacing of parks roads and new surfacing at the equestrian camping area as well as the road to the boat ramp were completed with the help of Rec Road funds. The construction of a new entry kiosk was completed with funding from the Park Cash fund.
  • Chadron State Park – The audio visual system and lighting at the group meeting facility were upgraded with the installation of new audio visual equipment and acoustic treatment. These upgrades were funded with Park Cash.
  • Eugene T. Mahoney State Park – Audio and visual capabilities were upgraded to include video conferencing. These upgrades were made possible with Park Cash funds.
  • Sandy Channel SRA – Rock surface camping pads were installed with new grills and picnic tables in conjunction with lake and boat access funds. Camping improvements were funded with Park Cash.
  • Dead Timber SRA – Two vault toilets were replaced, new grills and picnic tables were installed and the picnic shelter was repainted funded via Parks Cash.
  • Fort Kearny SRA – A Wastewater lagoon system was completed using deferred maintenance and Land and Water Conservation funds.
  • Arbor Lodge State Historical Park – HVAC system was replaced and an ADA-compliant modern restroom was added at Carriage House. These improvements were made possible with a 2014 legislative appropriation.
  • Summit Lake SRA – Construction of an ADA fishing pier, scheduled for completion in summer 2017, was made possible with donations.
  • Platte River State Park – Shoreline enhancements at Jenny Newman Lake improved angler access. Additionally, modifications were made to the lake’s fresh water supply system. These improvements were funded through a combination of legislative appropriations, aquatic habitat funds and donations.
  • Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area – A new family-friendly shooting range opened to the public in 2016. Also in 2016, the visitor’s center was expanded to include conference rooms and a larger area for exhibits and educational activities. A grand opening for both facilities will be held in 2017.
  • Parks statewide – 155 new picnic tables made from recycled tires were distributed across 19 park areas. The tables were purchased in part with a grant from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality through the Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive Program, which seeks to create a market for recycled tires in Nebraska.