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Commission approves fees for new Schramm Education Center

Commission approves fees for new Schramm Education Center

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission established user fees for the new Schramm Education Center during its meeting Jan. 18 at its Lincoln headquarters.

Schramm Education Center, built on the site of the former Aksarben Aquarium within Schramm Park State Recreation Area in Sarpy County, will be an interactive, state-of-the-art nature center with live animal displays featuring river, pond and lake systems, as well as riparian environments. The facility will offer educator-led programs and activities and hands-on experiences. It will open in the spring of 2019.

The daily general admission fee will be $10 for ages 13 and up, $7 for ages 60 and up, $7 for ages 4-12 and free for children less than 4. An annual membership, which will include up to two adults and three children or grandchildren, will be $100. A discounted educational rate will be offered for qualifying groups or organizations. There also will be fees for guided tours, animal encounters, interpretive programs/activities and rental of the new classroom area.

The education center is part of the Venture Parks project, an innovative public-private partnership providing more interactive, nature-based learning opportunities for current and future generations of park visitors.

In other business, the Commission:

— approved the following grant awards for the Land and Water Conservation Fund Stateside Assistance Program:

– – Wausa, $350,000 to renovate the Wausa Aquatic Center;

– – Fullerton, $252,908.67 to renovate the Fullerton Public Pool;

– – Osceola, $83,795 to renovate and develop Osceola City Park;

– – Emerson, $62,000 to renovate and develop Aaron’s Park Tennis Court Complex;

– – Central City, $83,450 to develop Dark Island Playground;

– – Potter, $47,836.50 to revitalize and develop Railroad Park;

– – Gering, $225,000 to renovate and develop Quad Fields Baseball and Softball Complex.

— approved the following outdoor trail projects for federal funding through the Recreational Trails Program:

– – Wisner, $250,000 to build a 1.3-mile loop trail through Central and River parks for walking, hiking and biking;

– – Norfolk, $250,000 to build a 10-foot-wide by 7,500-foot-long concrete trail between existing city trails and Northeast Community College;

– – Cowboy Trail West, $250,000 to surface with crushed limestone 4.8 miles of the Cowboy Nature and Recreation Trail and deck 13 bridges from Rushville to Hay Springs;

– – Lexington, $250,000 to build 4,240 feet of 10-foot-wide concrete trail to an existing trail system in the city’s recreation complex;

– – Nebraska National Forest, $208,539 to add 4 inches of aggregate to 7 miles of access roads for Bessey Ranger District at Halsey;

— approved a permanent easement request from the Nebraska Department of Transportation for a road-widening and culvert-placing project at Narrows Wildlife Management Area in Webster County.

— approved a permanent easement request from the Richardson County Rural Water District No. 2 to install a water line and metering valve pit on Indian Cave State Park property in Nemaha County.

A public hearing was held for input regarding the listing and delisting of state threatened and endangered species in the Commission’s District 8, which is Lancaster County. Staff had a presentation on the flathead chub, which is proposed as threatened in Nebraska.

In addition:

— Dr. Bob Zink, of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources, gave an update on his ongoing research on pheasant genetics. He said it has been determined that Nebraska pheasants, both captive raised and wild pheasants, come from two distinct lineages in eastern China and north-central Asia.

— Wildlife staff updated the commissioners on chronic wasting disease (CWD) monitoring. In the fall, 128 deer tested positive for CWD, as well as one elk. Staff also reported on the eight big game informational meetings held during the winter.

— A presentation was given regarding the fisheries, wildlife resources and state recreation areas within the Commission’s District 8, which is Lancaster County.

— An environmental report featured the status of wind power in Nebraska.

— A presentation was given on Cope’s gray tree frog, which visitors will be able to see at the new Schramm Education Center.

— The commissioners elected their officers for the year as follows: Chairman, Robert Allen, Eustis; Vice Chairman, Dan Kreitman, Wahoo; and 2nd Vice Chairman, Pat Berggren, Broken Bow.

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