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Game and Parks to celebrate parks’ centennial

Game and Parks to celebrate parks’ centennial

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LINCOLN – In 2021, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is celebrating 100 years of inspiring outdoor adventures at the state park system, which began when Chadron State Park was established in 1921.

Now, Nebraska’s 76 state, historical and recreation parks are top destinations for Nebraskans and visitors from around the world to enjoy breathtaking landscapes, unique wildlife, and abundant recreation opportunities.

The centennial celebration, themed “Your Memories, Your Adventures, Your Parks,” honors the park system’s legacy while also looking to its bright future. Throughout the year, Game and Parks will host 100 centennial events; coordinate 100 hours of volunteer projects; host a parks adventure challenge and a video competition for youth; share Nebraskans parks stories and much more.

“We are looking forward to celebrating with Nebraskans across the state, because without them and their passion for the outdoors, our parks system wouldn’t be as amazing as it is today,” said Jim Swenson, Parks Division administrator. “We hope this centennial year will be an opportunity to inspire another generation to preserve, protect and enjoy your park system.”

There are many ways to join the celebration, including buying the commemorative state park permit.

This year’s state park permits have had an eye-catching upgrade, featuring a sweeping view of Chadron State Park in western Nebraska.

Another way to join is to visit a state park for a fun event. The centennial year will kick off with self-guided First Day Hikes set for Jan. 1 to 3 at parks across the state.

Game and Parks also invites Nebraskans to share their parks memories via social using the hashtag #NEParks100 or filling out the online form at parks100.outdoornebraska.org.

The centennial celebration will include 100 hours of coordinated volunteer projects to build community relationships through giving.

Game and Parks has created a new program called Your Parks Adventure, which is set to begin in late spring. It will inspire guests to share their park experiences and build lifelong memories with the chance to win exciting experiences and prizes.

A special documentary on Nebraska Educational Television showcasing Nebraska’s state historical parks is expected to air in late spring 2021.

In collaboration with Nebraska Lottery, a new scratch lottery ticket celebrating the centennial will be available in late spring 2021. Players have a chance to win up to $40,000. Lottery funds benefit the Nebraska Environmental Trust, which invests in conservation.

A traveling history trailer featuring artifacts from the state park system will share a hands-on experience of the parks system’s rich history at events across the state. A time capsule recording the state parks system as it is today also will be sealed in a commemoration ceremony, to be opened in 100 years. The capsule will remain on display at a state historical park location.

Educational programs for students will highlight the relationship between outdoor recreation and the natural world.

Habitat tours across the state will give an in depth look at the ecology of the state park lands that Nebraska Game and Parks manages.

Throughout the year, additional opportunities will become available. Keep up-to-date with the latest centennial plans at parks100.outdoornebraska.org.

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