Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Introducing the Staff.

Brad, Shirley, Vicki and Dan

The Nebraska Nature & Visitor Center located is pleased to announce that Dan Glomski has been hired as the Center’s Program Coordinator in the organization.

Dan brings over twenty years of experience providing science based programming, including being Curator of Astronomy at Hastings Museum. Dan’s current focus at the Nature Center includes producing and presenting year-round nature based programs for school aged and adult audiences. Dan will work closely with educators and volunteers to provide programs that tell the story of Nebraska’s rivers, prairie and wildlife.

Vicki Struss came on board in July and serves as our office manager. Vicki keeps the office running smoothly and is usually the first person to answer the phone. Vicki lives on a farm near Kenesaw with her husband Rick.

To help with the gift shop, we have hired Shirley McCallum of Grand Island. Shirley will draw on her experience as an interior designer and volunteering for several gift shops in the area. Shirley's creative touch can be seen throughout the building.

I (Brad) started as director in April and am looking forward to working with Shirley, Vicki and Dan as we begin to grow this organization.

The Nebraska Nature & Visitor Center re-opened its doors this past summer and has partnered with Hastings College, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, Platte River Recovery Program and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

Located on the I-80 Alda exit 305, the Nebraska Nature & Visitor Center exists to provide a place where people of all ages can connect to nature along the Platte River. You can go to for more information.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Teachers Time Out info

We are participating in the upcoming Teacher's Time Out this November 5, 2009.

This year it will be held at the historic Frank House on the west edge of UNK's campus. It's one stop shopping place for teachers looking to get their students to places to help them discover learn and grow. Hope to see you there! The Nebraska Nature & Visitor Center is committed to helping get students outside and learn more about Nebraska's natural heritage. To learn more about us, go to our main web- page at

To find out more about the Time Out, go to

Questions? - Contact KrisAnn Sullivan at 308-865-8284 or email her at

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Nebraska Environmental Trust Video

We work closely with the Nebraska Environmental Trust here at the Nature Center. We have several TV screens in the lobby of the center and we're trying to pull together some good video to show. Here's one of the videos-

Killing weeds, Platte River style

The Platte river is big, some 300+ miles long. It has become choked with vegetation for many reasons over the years. This has a big effect on the ability of the river to carry water in its slow meandering braided prairie river natural state. One method to help clear the vegetation is to spray it with a herbicide. Much can be done by truck, but some areas must be sprayed by air. A helicopter was hired to cover the areas that just are too difficult to reach by other means. Thats when Rob Schultz who is the Hall County Weed Control Superintendent stopped by the Center and asked if the Helicopter could use our parking area to stage from.

The helicopter lands on top of the storage truck and it takes about 40 seconds to top off the tank and off if flies to continue spraying.

I was able to watch the pilot apply the area right behind the Center. He really moved around and when the spray came out of the boom, it was pushed straight down minimizing drift. Today, I walked down and the vegetation is showing signs of dying. We'll keep you posted about how this affects our stretch of the river.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Some thoughts as to why we exist.

The Central Platte River valley is home to some of the most productive land on our planet. This productivity has created a robust economy of agriculture, business and industry that thrives to this day. The common thread is the Platte. The Platte breathes life into this region, it always has.

Our entire lives we have lived and worked in the valley and we go about our business seldom stopping to take notice. People travel I-80 as fast as they possibly can, hardly recognizing the river that has flowed for eons carving out a landscape that was once at the heart of the greatest grassland ecosystems on earth.

The Platte, though fragmented compared to its historic borders, still plays host to a robust ecosystem of flora and fauna that is world class in its scope. This is the focus of our mission.

The Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center exists to provide a place from which people of all ages can connect to nature. Landowners, scientists, politicians, tourists, artists and students are starting to piece together the future of the Platte. We are learning more now than we ever have about the river. What are we to do with all of this knowledge? The one thing we can’t do is ignore it.

The Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center will be a resource and a portal to nature. We will celebrate Nebraska and it’s land as a place that is vibrant and alive. As the debates and policies are formed, a place in which people can connect, learn, and discover grows more important..