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Enjoy events in state parks this April

Spend some time this spring in Nebraska’s state parks. During April, a variety of events are planned for those for all ages and interests.

Don’t forget to purchase a vehicle park entry permit to enter the state parks. Get one at or at state park entrances.

Fort Hartsuff SHP to host book presentation

Learn about the medical history of Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park with a book presentation at 10 a.m. April 6 by author Dr. Todd E. Harburn.

Harburn will discuss his new book, “The Little Post Hospital on the North Loup River: The Medical History of Fort Hartsuff, Nebraska 1874-1881.”

Harburn is an independent scholar and retired orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician. His detailed history of Fort Hartsuff’s hospital is published by Heritage Books and includes a forward by Roye Lindsay, a retired park superintendent.

A silent auction will be held of several of Harburn’s original paintings of the fort. Proceeds will be donated to the Friends of Fort Hartsuff. All attendees will be entered into a drawing for an original painting.

For more information, visit the calendar event entry at

Venture Parks Discovery Fair is April 7

Nebraska’s Venture Parks are hosting a Venture Parks Discovery Fair from noon to 3 p.m. April 7 at Crete Carrier Riverview Lodge at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park.

Attend this event to learn about activities to be offered in the Venture Parks this summer and job opportunities in the parks.

Regional parks that are hiring include Platte River and Eugene T. Mahoney state parks, Schramm Education Center, and Schramm Park, Louisville and Two Rivers state recreation areas.

The Discovery Fair will include:

  • Games, fun activities, food vendors and photo opportunities with Kit the Raccoon mascot.
  • Information on seasonal park worker positions, including naturalist, activity worker (pool, rock wall, paddle boats), customer service representative, housekeeping, grounds crew, lifeguard, wrangler, office clerk, maintenance worker, shooting range aide and restaurant staff.
  • Information on how to work and play in the parks; Venture Parks offer opportunities for discovery, exploration, excitement, serenity and imagination with unique features and activities at each park.
  • Information about our camp hosting program; learn from prior hosts, who will be on site to help answer any questions.

Contact Melody Dillon at 402-944-4223 or for more information.

Flock to Birds of a Feather on April 9

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 April 9, the topic for this bird-related program for all ages will be Spring Migration and Beginner Birding. Learn basic birding skills and what to look for as the spring migration continues. Discover when and where to find certain birds.

This program is free, but a park entry permit is required.

Celebrate Earth Day with art April 22

Celebrate Earth Day on April 22 through art and writing while on a discovery stroll through the forest and prairie at Schramm Park State Recreation Area.

Create a collage of nature sketches from observations during the walk and then use watercolors to add interest. All supplies are provided and the walking will be primarily on paved or flatter trail areas. 

Meet in the Schramm Education Center lobby at 4 p.m.

Trek Through the Trees on Arbor Day

Spend time among the trees while walking through the forest on Arbor Day, April 26, at Platte River and Eugene T. Mahoney state parks.

Play Tree Bingo as you hike with a naturalist, learning tree-related fun facts along the way. We’ll search for unique trees, signs of life in the trees, seed pods, different leaf shapes and more.

Meet at 10 a.m. at Platte River’s Nature Center below Mallet Lodge. At Mahoney, meet at 1 p.m. at the Lookout Tower by Crete Carrier Riverview Lodge.

The activity also will take place April 28 at Schramm Education Center. Meet at 1 p.m. at the picnic shelter by the pond/main trailhead.

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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