PONCA – A series of events are being planned for at Ponca State Park over the next four days.
According to a release from Ponca State Park, join in on the fun from Saturday, May 28 – Tuesday, May 31.
Open Saturday morning with introduction to archery between 9 – 11 a.m. as cost is $1 for six arrows. Other course will be introduction to slingshot on Sunday from 9 – 11 a.m. as cost is $1 for 30 rocks, introduction to atlatl during the same time on Sunday as cost is $1 for six throws, introduction to pellet rifles from 9 – 11 a.m. on Monday, May 30 as cost is $1 per four clips and another course of introduction to archery on Tuesday, May 31. Meet and pay at the Eric Wiebe Shooting Complex.
Moving into Saturday afternoon, learn about some of the common backyard birds you can find at Ponca State Park and build your own bird feeder from 12:15 – 1 p.m. Create a pinecone and peanut butter feeder to take back to your cabin and home. Pre-register and pay at the Resource and Education Center between 8 – 11:45 a.m. on Saturday as cost is $1 per kit.
Closing out Saturday will be a ‘Turkey Vultures’ session from 2 – 3 p.m. Join a park naturalist to learn about some of the attributes and habits of one of the largest birds found at Ponca State Park. These graceful fliers have one particular feature that is not very attractive being feeding primarily on dead animals. Watch these large birds, sometimes called buzzards, soaring along the bluffs and over the Missouri River searching for the next meal. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars (limited supply available) and plan for a short walk along the bluffs. Meet at the Riverfront Campground bridge for this free event.
Then, learn and observe why dragonflies and damselflies are extremely important and fun to study on Sunday from 12:15 – 1 p.m. These aquatic (nymph stage) and aerial (adult stage) creatures are a stable of aquatic food webs and beneficial as predators of mosquitos. The group will also do their best to try and catch some of these acrobats by meeting at the Ponca Pond for this free event.
Close out Sunday with a ‘Fossil Hunt’ between 2 – 2:45 p.m. Learn about the ancient creatures that lived near the Missouri River and how fossils are formed. Meet at the Riverfront Boat Ramp to search for fossils near the riverfront during this free event.
Join a park naturalist on Memorial Day during ‘Critter Corner’ from 12:15 – 1 p.m. to learn about Nebraska’s wildlife. Participants will get a chance to see furs, skulls, artifacts and more. Also, hear how animals adapt to their environment and attendees will event get to meet some resident critters. Meet in the display wing for this free event.
Close out Monday with a 2 – 2:45 session on ‘Owl Pellets’. Lean how owls swallow their prey whole and then regurgitate the un-digestible material, being the owl pellet. Attendees will be given an owl pellet to investigate, dissect and ID. Pre-register and pay at the Resource and Education Center from 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and meet behind the Center later in the day as cost is $2 per kit.
Other upcoming activities include Family Trivia Night on Friday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m.; Full Moon Hike on Tuesday, June 14 at 9 p.m. and Pollinator Week between June 20 – 26.
The aquatic center is open daily from noon until 6 p.m. as cost is $7 for adults (12+) and $5 for those between the ages of 3-12. Hours may change due to weather or staffing.
Also, call or visit the Resource and Education Center to reserve a time for horseback riding. A waiver is required, with a maximum of 12 riders being ages 6 and up. For approximately 45 minutes, cost is $25 per rider as rides may be canceled due to staffing or weather.
Other activities include a Forest Critter Hunt (Bloodroot Trail Self-guided Hike); Bingos/Scavenger Hunts/Passports; Search for Sasquatch; Ponca Packs; Old Oak Trail Self-guided Hike and Fishing Tackle Loaner Program.
For details on all current activities going on at Ponca State Park, like Ponca State Park NE on Facebook or call 402-755-2284 with any questions.