Recreation Area Use Limited

Recreation Area Use Limited

Friday, April 3, 2020

Following the lead of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District will limit access to some amenities and activities at its recreation areas to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The NRD will continue to monitor this public health situation and will plan to reopen full access to the recreation areas as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.

As of Monday, April 6, all NRD recreation areas will remain open to the public with the following restrictions:

  • Camping: Use of campgrounds (tent camping as well as RVs) will not be permitted.
  • Restrooms: Restroom facilities will not be available.
  • Picnic Tables & Playground Equipment: The use of picnic tables and playground equipment is strongly discouraged, as these surfaces are not regularly disinfected.

Day use, such as hiking, fishing, and boating are permitted. While accessing the recreation areas, CDC guidelines regarding social distancing and avoiding group gatherings should be followed.  The restrictions listed above impact the following recreation areas: Bruce L. Anderson Recreation Area and Recharge Lake and Archery Range (York); Oxbow Trail Recreation Area (Ulysses); Pioneer Trails Recreation Area (Aurora); and Smith Creek Recreation Area (Utica).

“These temporary measures will help to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all Nebraskans,” said NRD General Manager David Eigenberg. “We appreciate the cooperation of recreation area guests in this matter as we all work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state. We do encourage people to make use of the recreation areas during this time in safe ways, as enjoying and exploring nature has seldom been more important than it is now, when so many are isolating at home and normal daily routines have been disrupted.”

The NRD managed recreation areas are multipurpose projects, offering outdoor opportunities to enhance the quality of life for all residents, as well as a range of conservation benefits including groundwater recharge, wildlife habitat, and soil erosion prevention. These spaces are also used for research on water quality and quantity, weather monitoring, and flood control.

Additional announcements regarding the use of recreation areas will be posted at as well as on the NRD’s social media channels.