Adventures in History: Discovering Nebraska’s State Historical Parks

Air Date: 05/23/2021

Take a trip back in time, right here in Nebraska. “Adventures in History: Discovering Nebraska’s State Historical Parks” is a new documentary from Nebraska Public Media and Nebraska Game and Parks that takes viewers on an epic road trip.

Join program host and narrator Stephanie Arne as she explores each of our nine State Historical Parks. Learn how these parks are your parks – rich and alive with our exciting history. Discover how dedicated reenactors bring history to life, introducing you to the soldiers and everyday citizens of the past. Visit Arbor Lodge to learn about Arbor Day and what makes a Champion Tree. Find out more about the larger-than-life western showman Buffalo Bill at his Scout’s Rest Ranch. Ride a covered wagon on the path of the California / Oregon trail at Rock Creek Station just like pioneers did. Get up close with history as Arne goes behind-the-scenes digging for fossils at Ashfall Fossil Beds, firing a cannon at Fort Atkinson and learning about ranching past and present at the Arthur Bowring Ranch.

“Adventures in History: Discovering Nebraska’s State Historical Parks” also introduces viewers to Philip James Little Thunder Sr., who talks about the Battle of Blue Water and its impact. Listen as State Archeologist Rob Bozell explains how thousands of years of indigenous history and prehistoric mammal activity have enriched the landscape at Ash Hollow State Historical Park. Meet the Riggle family, four generations of Pony Express re-riders who are committed to sharing the history and celebrating the undisturbed prairie landscape of Rock Creek Station. Learn more about Nebraska’s first female United States Senator, Eve Bowring. See the discoveries of Ashfall Fossil Beds, called the Pompeii of prehistoric animals, as Arne talks with longtime superintendent and former paleontology intern himself, Rick Otto. Find out about life in Nebraska’s historic forts and what makes each of them a unique and engaging place to visit. Walk the halls of historic buildings, discover the beauty of the park landscapes and see how Nebraska’s State Historical Parks are alive with stories.

Nebraska has a lot of precious resources: its people, its landscape, and its history all reveal stories that help us understand Nebraska today. Nebraska's State Historical Parks tell stories that will intrigue you, surprise you, or even inspire you!

Stephanie Arne admires one of Arbor Lodge's oldest trees.
Conservationist and program host Stephanie Arne admires one of Arbor Lodge's oldest trees.

About Stephanie Arne

Program host and narrator Stephanie Arne is a Midwest native who is a conservationist, a speaker, a presenter, an explorer and an educator.
Stephanie is

  • the former host of the digital reboot of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom (2013-2018)
  • the current Wildlife and Conservation Ambassador for Curiosity Stream, an online platform for documentaries
  • Co-Founder and President of The Creative Animal Foundation
  • a public speaker on global efforts in conservation and sustainability
  • the Former Education Outreach Coordinator at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
Cannons firing at Fort Kearny.
Reenactors fire the cannons at Fort Kearny as part of living history events.

About Our State Historical Parks

Nebraska’s nine State Historical Parks are homes to features of historical significance.
They are the stewards of the culturally significant relics and landscapes of days gone by that still resonate today.
For more information visit

• Fort Atkinson State Historical Park (north of Omaha in Fort Calhoun)
• Arbor Lodge State Historical Park (Nebraska City)
• Rock Creek Station State Historical Park (near Fairbury)
• Fort Kearny State Historical Park (near Kearney)
• Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park (in North Platte)
• Ash Hollow State Historical Park (near Lewellen, not far from Ogalala)
• Arthur Bowring Sandhills Ranch State Historical Park (in the Sandhills near Merriman)
• Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park (between Orchard and Royal, not far from O’Neill)
• Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park (near Elyria, between Burwell and Ord)

Location Production Team

Program Host and Narrator 
  Stephanie Arne 

  Alex Wiles
  Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

   B.J. Huchtemann

Additional Videographer
   Nick Sauvageau
   Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Drone Pilot/Additional Videographer
   Jacob Imig 

Location Audio
  Dan Newburn

Advising Producer/Contributing Writer       
   Bob Hanover
   Nebraska Game and Parks Commission