National Park

Reduced staff to limit hours at Mahoney State Park pool, Platte River shooting complex | national news

For the second straight summer, staffing shortages are forcing the Game and Parks Commission to cut hours and services at two of its most popular state parks.

The Game and Parks Commission typically hires 900 summer workers statewide, but some parks have only found about half the staff needed — even after the commission raised the seasonal pay rate by more than 33 %.

Among the biggest discounts: The Family Aquatic Center at Mahoney State Park will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It will be open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

At nearby Platte River State Park, the outdoor heritage education complex will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, but available shooting ranges on those days may be limited by staff reason.

Also expect to find reduced hours at their marinas, craft centers, activity centers and golf huts. Call the park offices in advance for more information.

“We appreciate everyone’s support and patience as we make the necessary changes to adapt to current staffing challenges,” Parks Division Administrator Jeff Fields said in a press release. “We will do our best to continue to provide many of the great recreational opportunities that people have come to expect in their parks.”

Still, there’s a chance the commission will have to make more cuts.

Last August, while operating at a 70% staffing level, the commission made sweeping cuts across the state after its seasonal workers began returning to school.

With an ongoing shortage of workers, this could happen again later this summer.

“We’ll have to wait and see,” Fields said.

He encouraged aspiring lifeguards, range personnel, housekeepers and concession workers to apply at outdoornebraska.gov/careers. Training and certification is available for new employees.