Nebraska Tourism Serves Program

2017 Nebraska Tourism Serves Projects














  1. Helped create a butterfly garden and cleaned the Visitor Center at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center in Wood River
    Media Stories: Kearney Hub

  2. Repainted the Platte Valley Barn at the Lincoln County Museum in North Platte
    Media Stories: 1011 News, The North Platte Telegraph

  3. Painted and landscaped to help the Wessels Living History Farm in York get ready to welcome summer visitors. 
    Media Stories: York News Times

2016 Nebraska Tourism Serves Projects













The Nebraska Tourism Serves program was launched in 2016 with four service projects. 105 individuals participated, including Nebraska tourism industry members, University of Nebraska classes, 4-H clubs, community members, out-of-state visitors and Nebraska Tourism Commission staff. These volunteers put in 615+ man hours, making a significant impact on the tourism potential in Nebraska.


  1. Restored the historic Fort Robidoux Trading Post in Gering by making improvements to the exterior.

  2. Cleared old railroad ties along the Cowboy Trail near Chadron, preparing the 321 mile trail, which follows the old Chicago & Northwestern rail route, for completion in the future. When completed, the Cowboy Trail will be the world's longest rails-to-trails trail.

  3. Landscaped and cleaned educational signs along the Shannon Trail, which offers tourists an interactive journey through Lewis & Clark history. The trail runs through 16 communities in northeast Nebraska.

  4. Restored the Nebraska State Historical Society's Pavelka Farmstead in Bladen, which provided the setting for a large portion of Willa Cather's most famous work, My Antonia. Tasks included cleaning and repairing the home's interior and landscaping.

About Nebraska Tourism Serves

The purpose of Nebraska Tourism Serves is to:

  • Help preserve Nebraska’s tourism destinations

  • Rally tourism industry members to support each other and help each other complete restoration projects

  • Help tourism destinations build their local volunteer base

  • Help more Nebraskans and tourism industry members become more familar with Nebraska's tourism destinations


  • Nebraska Tourism Serves projects typically last one to two days

  • All Nebraska tourism destinations are invited to apply to be one of the service sites

  • Nebraska Tourism Serves is not a grant program and does not provide funds to any chosen service site - what makes Nebraska Tourism Serves valuable is the support given by the volunteers

Nebraska Tourism staff work with the selected service sites to:

  • Help gain tourism industry volunteers by marketing the event to the entire Nebraska tourism industry

  • Help gain local volunteers by sending out press releases to local and state media organizations

  • Help plan event logistics and complete any tasks that will ensure the project is a success

The responsibilities of the service site's leaders include:

  • Organizing supplies

  • Planning event logistics

  • Gaining local volunteers

How does Nebraska Tourism Serves benefit tourism destinations? Watch this video to see how Nebraska Tourism Serves impacted the Willa Cather Foundation.

Other Community Development Programs

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program provides Nebraskans with safe, affordable and accessible housing and infrastructure; quality jobs and investment through financing new and expanding businesses. Created under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, the CDBG program merged seven categorical programs into a pool of community development funds yearly distributed according to a formula weighing population and measures of distress (poverty, age of housing, housing overcrowding, and growth lag).

The purpose of the Tourism Development (TD) Category is to provide for investments in effective and affordable tourist attraction facilities to quality communities that are investing in long-term development.  This provides a sound basis for assisting tourist attraction projects that have attracted significant financial support and are likely to have long-term positive impacts on their local and regional economies.  Tourist attractions projects that service both a regional and a local economy of community need are a key element in satisfying the state objective.  The objective of Tourism Development is to assist tourism development projects that have already attracted significant financial support and are likely to have long-term positive impacts on the local and regional economics. 

  • Historic Restorations
  • Scientific and Educational Interpretive Educational Sites & Facilities
  • Participatory Sports Facilities
  • Convention Centers
  • Cultural and Heritage Recreational Sites and Facilities
  • Supporting activities that include removal of material and architectural barriers that restrict the mobility and accessibility to sites/facilities for the elderly and severely disabled individuals in support of eligible tourism activities. 

The maximum grant amount to be awarded is $350,000 of CDBG Tourism Development funds. All TD projects require a minimum 25% match.

Additional information: http://www.neded.org/files/crd/cdbg/2016/CDBG_Investments_Impacts_2016_web.pdf

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