On August 25th, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act, creating the National Park Service. On Thursday, August 25th, 2022, the Niobrara National Scenic River will be celebrating the founding of the National Park Service with two special events.
At 10:00 a.m., join an interactive story time at the “Read with a Ranger” program located at the Valentine Public Library. Ranger Bobbie will read a few books to area youth, or youth at heart, and talking about what a park ranger does for the National Park Service. Be surprised with a special appearance of Lonnie the Otter, Niobrara National Scenic River’s mascot.
Then at 5:30 p.m., join Niobrara National Scenic River (NSR) rangers for a guided canoe float from Smith Falls State Park to Brewer Bridge. Learn about the very unique resources the National Park Service protects from the ranger giving information along the float. Canoes will be provided free of charge by the Niobrara Council, though individuals are welcome to bring their own canoe or kayak. Reservations are required and space is limited. Individuals will need to arrange their own transportation back to Smith Falls State Park; carpooling is encouraged.
Paddlers of all skill levels are welcome. Park rangers will give a brief safety demonstration before launching the canoes. During the float, participants will discover (or rediscover) some of the things that make the Niobrara NSR so special and enjoy a talk about the national scenic river’s history Ranger Bobbie Roshone along the way. The trip will last 1.5 to two hours.
“The Niobrara River is a marvelous place,” said Superintendent Susan Cook. “I can think of no better way to celebrate the birthday of the National Park Service than by enjoying the biological and cultural crossroads of the Niobrara National Scenic River with local residents and park visitors.”
For reservations, call the Niobrara National Scenic River at 402-376-1901. Smith Falls State Park requires a $6 per vehicle fee, Nebraska licensed ($12 for non-Nebraska licensed), or a valid state park pass. Sponsored by the Niobrara National Scenic River and the Niobrara Council.