Families can win an outdoor recreation package valued at $1,500 or other great prizes, such as weekend state park cabin stays, an ipad and a $200 Scheele’s gift card, in the 2017 Great Park Pursuit.
The challenge encourages families to experience 21 state, community or national parks across the state, from Fort Atkinson State Historical Park in eastern Nebraska to Fort Robinson State Park in western Nebraska and many great stops in between.
“We hope this program makes everyone more aware of parks and outdoor recreation spaces in their part of the state, and that program participants are able to discover new places to enjoy the outdoors,” said Jane Gustafson, marketing manager for the Nebraska Game & Parks.
The challenge began May 1 and continues until Sept. 18.
Gustafson said between 350 and 450 teams (with between 2 and 10 people per team) participate in the challenge each year. More than 16,000 families have enjoyed the adventure in the past decade. In 2016, more than 70 families received prizes, including NebraskaLAND magazine subscriptions or calendars. Teams are eligible for prizes with just one park visit.
“Families of all ages love our program,” Gustafson said. “The average age of our participants is about 22.5, so we have lots of young families taking part in our program. It’s free, and it’s a great opportunity for grandparents, parents and children to explore the outdoors on their own schedule. Your team doesn’t necessarily have to have kids, either. We just think that adds to the fun.”
It’s easy to participate. Just navigate to www.negpp.org and register online. Then visit the locations menu to download and print a clue sheet for each park you plan to visit. Once at the park, find the GPP impression post and use a pencil or crayon to make an impression of the post to prove your visit. Mail in your park page for a chance to be entered into the prize drawing.
The $1,500 grand prize package is the winner’s choice of a camping, kayaking, paddle boarding, trail/hiking or fishing package. For a list of all the prizes, visit www.negpp.org. The website also lists fun activities to do while visiting state parks, such as cloud gazing (complete with photos of different types of clouds), instructions on making a pinecone bird feeder, scavenger hunts, game ideas and more.
To celebrate 2017 as the 10th year of the Great Park Pursuit and Nebraska’s 150th year of statehood, Gustafson said all the posts are gold this year instead of the usual green color. In addition, a few special locations have been added at the state capitol building in Lincoln and at Central High School in Omaha, Nebraska’s territorial capitol in the mid-1800s. Plus, all of Nebraska’s State Historical Parks are included in this year’s locations.
The Great Park Pursuit is a partnership between the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Nebraska Recreation and Park Association, an active non-profit organization comprised of professionals and advocates dedicated to the promotion of park resources and recreation advancement in Nebraska.