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Catch these Game and Parks education events in June

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission educators have scheduled interesting and engaging events for the curious in June.

Don’t forget to purchase a vehicle park entry permit to enter the state parks, except one is not required to park in the Schramm Education Center parking lot. Get one at or at state park entrances.

Here are some opportunities:

Ash Hollow SHP to host bioblitz June 1

Come to Ash Hollow State Historical Park near Lewellen on June 1 for a bioblitz and help biologists and other volunteers find and identify as many species of plants and animals as possible.

All necessary materials will be provided. Be sure to dress according to the weather. Lunch will be provided, but participants should provide their own dinner. Camp chairs are recommended.

The bioblitz starts at 7 a.m. Mountain time with bird banding and continues with several sessions, ending with moth lighting and bat mist netting or acoustics at 9 p.m.

For more information, email Visit the calendar event listing at for the full schedule.

Butterfly survey training at Schramm Park SRA

Become a community scientist and help conserve Nebraska’s rare, at-risk butterflies. Training for the Monarch and Regal Fritillary Survey will be from 1-5 p.m. June 1 at Schramm Park State Recreation Area near Gretna.

The survey is a community science project where volunteers help biologists document monarch and regal fritillary butterflies in Nebraska.

Join the first hour to learn information about butterflies and other community science opportunities. Then, anyone interested in becoming a survey volunteer is invited to stay to learn how to participate.

For more information, see the calendar event entry at or contact Cody Dreier at or 402-471-1755.

Flock to Birds of a Feather on June 4

Get ready to go birding by participating in the new Birds of a Feather program at 9:30 a.m. on select Tuesdays at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park’s new James Family Conservatory and Nature Center.

On June 4, the topic for this free, bird-related program for all ages will be Habitats Birds Depend On. Learn where to look for birds based on the habitats they need and learn how ranges can be a clue for identification.

Wise and Wild is June 4 at James Family Conservatory

Wise and Wild is a program for those age 55 and up who love the outdoors. It will be at 3 p.m. on select Tuesdays at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park’s new James Family Conservatory and Nature Center.

On June 4, the topic for this free event will be Wildflower Identification. It’s Wildflower Week in Nebraska. Learn about their importance and how to identify some native species.

Little Saplings presents Ants on June 5

Adults looking to explore the outdoors with their young children are invited to Little Saplings, a monthly early childhood nature discovery program at Schramm Education Center near Gretna.

The 2024 series, which occurs the first Wednesday of the month, continues June 5 with the theme Ants at 9 and 10 a.m. It is designed for children ages 2-5 and their adult caregivers. The cost is $4 per child and $5 per adult.

See the calendar event entry at for more information.

‘Science of’ virtual webinar series returns in June

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s popular “Science of” virtual webinar series returns in June.

Every Thursday at 3 p.m. Central time, Game and Parks educators will discuss some of the science behind common things regarding nature and animals.

The hourlong webinars are free, but separate registration is required for each. See the calendar event entries at for registration links.

The webinar schedule of topics: June 6 – Armadillos; June 13 – Tiger beetles; June 20 – Slime molds; June 27 – Milkweed.

The webinars will be recorded and posted to the Nebraska Game and Parks YouTube Education Channel.

Contact for more information. Check out the events on Game and Parks’ Facebook page and the Nebraska Project WILD Facebook page.

Wildcat Hills SRA to host Wildflower Week event

Join the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Nebraska Statewide Arboretum for a Wildflower Week plant talk and sunset guided hike June 7 at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area near Gering.

Meet at 6:30 p.m. Mountain time at the Nature Center for the plant talk with Steve Rolfsmeier, director of the High Plains Herbarium at Chadron State College. The 45-minute hike with Rolfsmeier, Game and Parks staff and NSA Horticulture Program Coordinator Bob Henrickson will follow.

Snacks and water will be provided; prepare to hike over uneven terrain. This free event is open to the public.

Venture Parks to host SRA Saturdays

Park educators will be out and about at Nebraska’s state recreation areas along the Platte River on select Saturdays this summer. Visitors are invited to join them.

There will be an observation station and a variety of outdoor activities to explore. Look for the naturalist table and stop by any time between 1 and 3:30 p.m.

The stops will be June 8 at Louisville SRA (meet at the park shelter across from concessions) and June 22 at Two Rivers SRA (meet at the shelter north of Lakeside Campground).

Apply for Master Naturalist Training

Complete the weeklong training to become a certified Nebraska Master Naturalist. This Complete Training June 9-15 at Cedar Point Biological Station near Ogallala has limited available spots.

Content areas can include natural resource interpretation, conservation biology and ecology, outdoor skills, resource management, citizen science, reptiles, amphibians, turtles, mammals, insects, aquatic ecosystems, geology, grasslands ecology, woodland ecology, and human dimensions/naturalist ethics.

The Nebraska Master Naturalist Program is an adult conservation and environmental education program combining indoor presentations and hands-on field experiences to teach conservation volunteers about Nebraska’s natural resources.

For more information or to apply, visit the calendar event entry at Email any questions to

Birding for Everybody and Every Body is June 15

Birding for Everybody and Every Body, set for 2 p.m. June 15 at Rock Creek Station State Historical Park near Fairbury, is a birding activity accessible and inclusive.

Rock Creek will welcome birders of all abilities, including beginners and families with small children, to a guided bird-watching tour hosted by Nebraska Birdability captain Cassandra Dean. Join the outing, which covers mowed grass trails of about a mile in length, or view birds at feeding stations from the comfort of the Visitor Center lobby.

Contact the park for more information at or 402-729-5777.

Schramm Pollinator Party is June 15

Celebrate Nebraska pollinators and their plants at the Schramm Pollinator Party from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 15.

This free event at the Schramm Education Center near Gretna, part of a statewide celebration of Nebraska Pollinator Week, will include activities, science, crafts, a plant sale and fun for all ages. Admission costs will apply for any visitors wishing to explore the Education Center in addition to the event.

Direct any questions about the event to Jen Ruyle at 402-332-5022 or For more information, see the calendar event entry at

Homeschool Hikes set for June 19 at Schramm

Homeschool families are invited to join an outdoor educator on a guided hike at Schramm Park State Recreation Area near Gretna during the Homeschool Hikes program at 9 a.m. June 19. This month’s theme is Pollinators.

Homeschool Hikes is a monthly nature exploration program hosted by the Schramm Education Center geared toward homeschool families and ages 5 and up.

Participants are encouraged to RSVP in advance through the event listing at

Wildcat Hills SRA to host educator workshop

Nebraska educators of grades 5-12 are invited to the Legacy in Environment Education Discovery Workshop at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area June 24-25. This free workshop will investigate the shortgrass prairie ecosystem.

Teachers of all subjects will find this workshop useful. Participants will receive knowledge to use when incorporating local ecology into their curriculum. They will be doing hands-on natural resource activities such as a bighorn sheep tour, bird watching, geology, learning about reptiles, plant walk, and much more.

This workshop, limited to 20 participants, includes all meals and lodging. Registration ends June 14.

See the calendar event entry at to register. Email with questions.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at or 402-471-5008.

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