Nebraskans ready to celebrate monument's 100th anniversary

Scotts Bluff National Monument is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The monument was established in 1919.

Park officials are gearing up to celebrate the centennial. "We are going to have trail walks," Centennial Coordinator Kayla Gasker said. "We have partnered with the Midwest Theater in Scottsbluff to host a 'science on screen' event, and we will show a movie to bring in the education of the volcanic ash layers here at the monument. That's just one of the many events planned."

Construction is now underway at the visitors center. "It's undergoing a major renovation," Gasker said. "We are excited about it. It will add about 3,000 square feet when it's done, and we will have all new exhibits." The monument gets about 150,000 visitors a year, and most of it is during the summer season. "The monument was set aside by the National Park Service to protect and preserve the historic trail remnants here," Gasker said. "If you look through Mitchell Pass, this would be the area where pioneers would have traveled through. So the monument protects and preserves this area for the Oregon, California and Mormon pioneer trails."

Scotts Bluff National Monument is hoping to see more visitors this summer, as the monument is on the Nebraska passport program for 2019.