Jerry Walsh fishes in a new recreational area opened in Hubbard, Nebraska, across from where he lives.
HUBBARD, NE (KTIV) -
Even during a soft-opening, the glimmer of excitement was high as Nebraska's Natural Resources District opened a new recreational area in Hubbard, Nebraska, on Wednesday. The park features no-wake boating, biking, horse trails, a playground and space to RV Camp.
There were a handful of boats on the water the first day it opened. Clint Nelson and his friend were one of the first to test the waters at the Kramper Lake Danish Alps State Recreation Area. Nelson said hitching up the boat was one of the top priorities once he finished work for the day. "Oh no," he said. "We had to get out right away and take a look at things."
The lake is 226 acres and man-made. It's filled with large-mouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, guppy, crappie and walleye. "For the South Sioux City or Sioux City area we don't really have anything close for us to count on," said Nelson.
Nelson and many others see the park as a convenience. He says the closest park to them was either in Newcastle, Nebraska, or Ponca State Park. He said his drive to get to the nearest fishing hole is cut-in-half.
The park was built a multi-purpose park. There's the recreational aspects but, for officials, the lake acts as a flood reservoir. "It'll protect, specifically, the homeowners downstream on the flat down near the Pigeon Jones Creek levee system," said Terry Schumacher, the Land and Water Programs Coordinator for Papio-Missouri River natural Resources District. Schumacher says the flood and sediment reservoir has done it's job thus far.
Construction on the park started in 2011. Schumacher says minor construction is still going on. Workers are finishing a playground.
Jerry Walsh has lived in Hubbard his whole life for 62 years. He's watched the land go from farmland, which he says he farmed with his dad, to the park. And he's excited for the change. "It's great for the area," said Jerry Walsh.
"We're glad to have it here."
Walsh says it's just his new place to unwind once he's done with his chores. "It's gonna be nice to just to come over the hill and go camping , fishing, ride your bikes or whatever you want to do," said Walsh.
The park will host it's grand opening on August 1st. That's also when Schumacher says they should be done with construction on the playground.