Apr 17, 2024

Celebrate National Park Week at Scotts Bluff National Monument

Posted Apr 17, 2024 11:57 PM

By Scotts Bluff National Monument

GERING, NE— National Park Week is an annual nine-day long celebration of our national parks. Scotts Bluff National Monument will be offering 3 events that offer you a chance to join in the celebration.Discovery Hike    Saturday, April 20th at 9:00 am at the visitor center 

Join park ranger Eric Grunwald for a 2-mile round-trip hike to the monument’s old picnic area. Along the way ranger Grunwald will tell stories about the development of this part of the monument, show photos of the facilities once located there, and share a cautionary tale about what happens when we love our parks to death. All ages are welcome. Participants should be prepared to walk about 2 miles on uneven, off-trail surfaces and be prepared for cold temperatures and precipitation. Pre-registration is required. Register by email at [email protected]

City Nature Challenge Mini Bio-blitz    Friday, April 26th 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the visitor center 

Become part of a nationwide group of community scientists! Educators from Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and Scotts Bluff National Monument rangers, plus conservation professionals from the Scotts Bluff County area will be investigating the nature found just outside of Gering and Scottsbluff. Join us for an evening discovering the birds, plants, insects and more that live at Scotts Bluff National Monument on Friday, April 26th from 5:30 until 7pm! 

Each 30-minute focus session will document species within its specific focus area:  

5:30 p.m. - Bird Walk 

6:00 p.m. - Insect Walk 

6:30 p.m. - Plant Walk 

Learn what it means to be a community scientist, get some tips on how to collect and record your observations using the app iNaturalist, and start collecting data on the spot! Then, spend the weekend exploring your backyard, local park, or favorite hiking trail within Scotts Bluff County and make as many observations as you can! Encourage some friendly competition with friends and family as you explore and observe the unique nature found in Scotts Bluff County. 

Check out the City Nature Challenge Website at: https://www.citynaturechallenge.org/ for more information and a full schedule of events around Nebraska. 

Junior Ranger Careers Day    Saturday, April 27th from 10 am until 2 pm at the visitor center 

Visitors of all ages and abilities can learn about the different types of park rangers who help protect our Western Nebraska National Parks while exploring these different stations: 

  1. See some of the tools that wildland firefighter park rangers use to keep national park ecosystems healthy. 
  2. Learn how law enforcement rangers protect park resources and the people who visit our parks.  
  3. Get to know some of the plants and animals that call our Western Nebraska parks home. 
  4. Discover how park rangers sometimes dress in costume to teach people about our past.  
  5. Investigate the rocks of Scotts Bluff just like a geologist park ranger.  
  6. Learn how interpretation park rangers teach visitors about special places like Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.   American Sign Language interpreters will be on-site throughout Junior Ranger Careers Day. Braille, large print, and audio versions of each activity will also be available. Visitors who participate can become certified Scotts Bluff and Agate Fossil Beds junior rangers and take home certificates and badges from each park. www.nps.govAbout the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 425+ national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and  create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube