First-Ever Trail Run/Walk on Historic Platte River Island Showcases Nature’s Beauty

Buffalo Stampede 1-lo-2With final preparations underway for the Crane Trust’s first-ever trail run on historic Shoemaker Island, I couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of this land and the incredible diversity of plants and wildlife that it supports. The fun-for-all trail run/walk is being held to celebrate the addition of four new bison to the Crane Trust’s exhibition herd—and is sure to deliver a wonderful morning to remember.

Buffalo Stampede 6-lo-2For the special 5K run/walk, the Crane Trust has opened its native grassland habitat for runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. The race is being run on a mowed grassland trail that meanders up and down across a gentle landscape shaped by centuries of river flooding and vast herds of grazing bison. This time of year the wildflowers are in full bloom and the grassland birds are quick to fill the air with song.

Buffalo Stampede 3-lo-2Toward the end of the open prairie course, runners will be greeted by a beautiful stretch of trail that winds through wooded habitat along the river before crossing the river (on two footbridges) to the finish line. Water levels permitting, participants will be able to cool their feet in the shallow waters of the Platte River channel when the race is done.

Buffalo Stampede 10-lo-2The 5K-race has been accurately measured and is being timed for the competitors among us. Runners/walkers will receive a finisher medal and Buffalo Stampede 5K t-shirt. Overall male and female winners will also receive Buffalo Stampede trophies.

Start time for the trail run/walk is 8:00 a.m. at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center (I-80 Alda Exit #305) on Saturday, July 20, rain or shine. Early registration (on/or before July 15) is $20 for adults and $12 for youth 12 and under. After July 15, registration is $25 for adults and $17 for youth. Race-day registration opens at 7:00 a.m. at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. Additional information and registration forms for the historic trail run/walk are available at NebraskaNature.org or contact Karen Krull Robart at 308-382-1820, kkrullrobart@cranetrust.org.

Masthead-River SunriseThe Visionaries film production company will be on location to film the event for a 30-minute Crane Trust documentary for PBS’s nationally televised Visionaries series hosted by actor Sam Waterston of Law & Order. In addition to the trail run/walk and local interviews, the crew will also be filming a variety of habitat management and conservation programs underway this summer at the Crane Trust.
Earlier filming for the documentary included the spring crane migration of sandhill cranes, with hundreds of thousands of cranes staging on vital habitat managed by the Crane Trust. The new PBS Crane Trust documentary will premiere in the fall.

Since 1978, the Crane Trust has been dedicated to the protection and maintenance of critical habitat
for the endangered whooping crane, sandhill cranes and other migratory birds along the Platte River through scientific research, habitat management, community outreach and education. The Crane Trust today is responsible for protecting approximately 10,000 acres of vital habitat in south-central Nebraska through direct ownership and conservation easements.

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