Ponca State Park Offers Weekly Bingo Activities, International Migratory Bird Day Is May 9

PONCA – A state park in northeast Nebraska is providing social distancing weekly activities leading up to the International Migratory Bird Day.

According to a release from Ponca State Park, their naturalist team is working hard to bring outdoor education to everyone during these times of social distancing through weekly posting of outdoor activities. These events can be found on the Ponca State Park NE Facebook page.

Scientific studies show that Americans can benefit from more time spent outdoors which will lower stress levels, increase immune systems, enhance creativity and increase vitamin D intake. Plan a trip to Ponca State Park and spend your day exploring over 22 miles of trails, a stocked fishing pond, wildlife viewing stations and river access. Increase your knowledge while putting an interesting spin on your next hike with a scavenger hunt, outdoor bingo, tree identification sheet and more.

Again, activity sheets can be found on the Ponca State Park NE Facebook page or inside the mailbox located outside the Resource and Education Center.

State park officials are also planning special events during this year’s International Migratory Bird Day which is on the second Saturday in May. The day began in 1993 as a way to celebrate the accomplishments of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and to bring attention to the spectacular event of bird migration. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is a law that prohibits the sale, purchase, taking or possession of any wild migratory bird or bird parts. Special permission must be granted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service before any action is taken regarding these birds.

This year, International Migratory Bird Day will celebrate the importance of stopover sites, crucial refuges and where migratory birds rest and refuel before continuing their remarkable journeys as scientists continue to study and learn more about migratory birds.

There are four main migratory flyways; the Atlantic Flyway, Mississippi Flyway, Central Flyway and Pacific Flyway. The Central Flyway runs through the state of Nebraska, and with Ponca State Park located adjacent to the Missouri River it serves as a prime stopover location. Birders of all levels, from the beginners to the experts, there are ways you can help in bird migration. Visit nebraskabirdmonth.org for details.

Attendees are asked to continue to practice social distancing as recommended by the CDC. Ponca State Park’s ability to keep this area open for your continued use is dependent upon your compliance with social spacing and group size recommendations.

Also, an annual park permit can be purchased online at outdoornebraska.org or by calling 402-755-2284. Daily permits can be purchased at the self-registering black/metal boxes outside the Resource and Education Center.