A number of speakers took to the microphone to talk about the summer events and opportunities for residents and visitors to the Nebraska City area during the recent Hot Topics coffee event at Scooter’s Coffee on South 11th Street.
Ashli Leyden of the Wildwood Golf Course talked about the new things that are happening this summer around Nebraska City’s municipal nine-hole attraction.
Leyden reported that the season got off to a good start in March as the number of plays in the month for 2018 was 258, compared to 186 in 2017.
Golfers will be able to fill their scorecards and stomachs this year with a more diverse offering of foods including pizza, hot dogs and nachos.
In the pro shop, Leyden said efforts are being made to have merchandise available with prices competitive with the bigger stores in the nearby metro markets.
Program wise, the Nebraska City course plans to once again have a Junior Golf Program. Leyden said the program will be moved to July to help accommodate players who might be playing ball or going to summer camp in the month of June. 
It will also be expanded from about two days and will now run for two weeks.
In terms of memberships, the course is offering memberships targeted toward educators. Summer and corporate packages are among the offerings as well.
The summer schedule has populated quickly with more events sure to come. Find out more about the rates and the schedule by calling the pro shop at 402-873-3661.
Expanding on the city’s recreation offerings was Scooter Edmisten, who oversees the Steinhart Park Aquatic Center as well as the recreation programs and golf course.
The aquatic center enters its third year of operation after opening with two banner years. The old swimming pool had a revenue goal of $35K. The new pool surpassed its original projections by hitting $108K in year one and $125K in year two. Those numbers represent admissions only.
Concessions brought in money and met projections as well.
Edmisten said the numbers in year one and two were probably going to be the best that can be expected for the facility but said that the goal now will be to maintain the numbers in the years to come.
Nebraska City’s goal at the aquatic center is to cut into the city subsidy for the facility. The pool is subsidized at $50K. Thanks to its success in years one and two, the pool was able to cut into that subsidy number, requiring $30K in year one and around $20K in year two.
Breaking even or making money is not likely for Nebraska City. And Edmisten said public pools around the state are subsidized as well with the realization that a pool is a service that the city provides citizens and that, if it were to charge the necessary amount for the pool to break even, many residents would not be able to afford to come to the pool.
In terms of recreation programs, Edmisten said he was happy to work with a number of organizations that offer a lot of activities. Organizations include the Nebraska City Soccer Club, the American Legion baseball program, the Elite traveling baseball program, the Jaycees recreation ball program and the Nebraska City Girls’ Softball Association.
If anyone has questions, they can call (402) 873-5515 and ask for Edmisten.
Just a glance at the many programs is evidence of the opportunities available to youth.
“What gets me is when I hear that there’s nothing in the community for our kids to do,” Edmisten said. “There’s plenty of things to do. It’s just getting kids off the couch.”
Edmisten mentioned library programs as being an addition to the recreation opportunities, and, appropriately enough, Donna Kruse, director of the Morton James Library, was the next presenter.
She talked about the summer program and a couple of events that are coming up at the library.
The Kimmel Gallery is featuring the Barada Hills of Nebraska: Watercolors by John Lokke and Poetry by Jan Wright. That exhibit will be running through until April 28.
National preservation week kicks off on April 23 and residents can come by at 7 p.m. that night and get advise on how to manage and preserve their digital archives from photos to videos, emails and more.
The York College Children’s Theater will again present a show on the Saturday of Arbor Day weekend. The popular group will have a show at 2 p.m. at Nebraska City Middle School.
All of the programs at the Nebraska City library are free and most, if not all, are suitable for any age.
Kick off the summer with a special concert at the middle school at 10 a.m. on June 6. The String Beans will perform and promote the theme “Libraries Rock.” Use this opportunity to see what all will be going on this summer for youth.
The adults aren’t being left out, however. Kruse said she would like to encourage adults to come and see what library programs appeal to them. Many adults use the digital services of the library to get books on e-readers, but Kruse said the staff at the library would love to see adults come into the library and enage at the site as well.
Doug Friedli of the Missouri River Basin Lewis and Clark Center then took the microphone, talked about the museum presence of Nebraska City and encouraged residents to take advantage of the free admission afforded to those in the 68410 zip code thanks to funding from the Nebraska City Growth Fund.
Friedli said he would love to see more residents come and enjoy the museums.
Overall, the museums have a big impact on Nebraska City as visitors are coming in to enjoy all the attractions. Museum interest has been on an uptick lately, Friedli said, due to a concerted effort to engage on Facebook.
It’s also been enhanced by Nebraska City’s friendly vibe. Folks who come through as part of programs like the Nebraska Passport Program, Friedli said, often times come back because of the great experience they have while in the city.
Nebraska City’s Wildwood Historic House and Arbor Day Farm are on the Nebraska Passport program this year. And it’s another chance to promote the city.
“We want to continue to give people that good first impression while they are here,” said Friedli.

In other news:
The Farm to Fork event, which promotes the slow food movement, was discussed. This year’s event, set Aug. 19, looks to be just as popular with 125 tickets up for grabs and almost all of them are gone. The event will be a five-course dinner in downtown Nebraska City enhanced by live music and adult beverages.
Table Creek is offering free youth golf clinics for boys’ and girls’ ages 6 to 17 from June 4 to 7 and July 9 to 12.
The Progressive Dinner, a meal trip that delivers event attendees to a number of different sites for courses of a meal, will be on tap for the Saturday evening of Arbor Day.
The Great American Clean Up will be Thursday, April 19, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the sunken parking lot in downtown Nebraska City with volunteers sprucing up the city.
In a couple of recreation notes, the first of two swim lesson sign ups will be April 20 at the EDGE event at Northside in the evening. Also, Edmisten said there’s a plan in the works to bring back a flag football league to town.
For more information on any events, call NCTC at 402-873-6654.