Great Park Pursuit giving Nebraskans the opportunity to explore the state

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 11:08 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The pandemic got many Nebraskans outdoors and helped the community explore Nebraska one park and recreation area at a time.

The outdoor program is called the Great Park Pursuit, and it’s a way for people to visit different parks without ever having to leave the Cornhusker state.

The program began in 2008 with only ten different parks to visit. Fast forward to today and there are 20 locations, each highlighted by a different stand that holds an impression. Each impression holds meaning about the state of Nebraska and creates a visual for anyone visiting the park.

“By moving the post, by having the posts and not only state locations, but municipality locations and even in extremely small communities across the state. We hope that brings to light that people can have the positive benefits,” said Tracy Stratman, chairperson of the Great Park Pursuit.

The program runs from May to September, and participants often return to their favorite parks.

The program began when there was a growing concern that children weren’t spending as much time outside, and a concern that Nebraskans weren’t appreciating the resources the state offers.

During the pandemic, people rallied behind the program, and participation increased by 40 percent. Having a reason to get outdoors and finding a way to support local communities brought everyone together during difficult times.

“I firmly believe that parks are what build a community, it’s what brings people together; it is the public space where you have your festivals, and firework shows, your town picnics. You’re very proud of where they showcase that in public places, at public parks,” said Stratman.

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