The Park Rangers of the Hudson-Meng Education and Research Center (HMERC) invite you to join the first Ranger Interpretive Talk for the summer, “Homesteading: From Grassroots to Grasslands.” The talk will be held Friday, June 14 at 7:00 pm, as part of Northwest Parks Talk Series with the Nebraska Commission of Game and Parks, the National Park Service and the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands. The talk will take place at the Solider Creek Campground picnic shelter, located within walking distance from Fort Robinson State Park information center and restaurant.
This year’s HMERC Park Ranger, Jacob Hesslau, will talk about The Homestead Act of 1862. The Act sought to populate the undeveloped land of the West by offering ownership to those who improved the land for five years. Homesteaders had to deal with several obstacles: the soil was not as fertile as it was in the eastern U.S.; with open range surrounding them, homesteaders often turned to ranching, which remains prominent in today’s culture. Jacob will explain how the government offered to buy back lands from the homesteaders during the Great Depression. Through the years, some of these lands have become the National Grasslands that we enjoy today.
“The history behind National Grasslands is fascinating and informative,” said HMERC manager, Ryan Means, “This is a great opportunity to learn more about how the National Grasslands came to be right in your backyard.”
Additionally, HMERC staff members will be available throughout the evening to share information about Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday, HMERC’s 20th anniversary, as well as recreational opportunities on public lands.
The Ranger Interpretive Talks are free of charge, however permits are required to enter Nebraska State Parks, and can be purchase at the Fort Robinson State Park front desk.
For more information on this event or other summer educational talks and programs, please call the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands at 308-432-0300 Ryan Means, 308-221-4162.