The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861
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- September 1, 2020 -

bee sculpture

Once again, a Nemaha County attraction is to be a Nebraska Passport stop.

Honeybees in the Heartland is being featured on the Art Cetera tour.

“We’re excited to be chosen. We want to make it one of the best stops. It’s going to be a great thing for Auburn, our county and our area. We want people to come and visit and show them Nemaha County is the place to be. We’re going to show them a great time,” notes Leslie Clark, project director.

Sculptures designed by 26 regional artisans can be seen throughout the county. There are 20 in Auburn; two each in Johnson and Peru; and one apiece in Brownville and Julian. Honeybees in the Heartland was the project of the sixth Nemaha County Leadership Class. It honors the Cornhusker State’s official insect as well as recognizing the agricultural community.

Cafe’ Metro at 901 Central Ave. and El Portal Mexican Restaurant at 1905 J St., both in Auburn, will be serving as locations where visitors can get their passports stamped.

Maps showing the locations of honeybees are available at a number of businesses. Those include Auburn City Hall, Ca­sey’s General Store, Country Handmades, Glenn’s Corner Market, Shell Speedee Mart and Sunmart. They can also be accessed or downloaded from the Honeybees in the Heart­land Facebook page. Further particulars are forthcoming.

The sculptures are among 70 attractions statewide in 10 themed categories announced by Nebraska Tourism.

The beginning of the Passport was delayed because of uncertainty with COVID-19. The program typically starts on May 1. The end date has also been extended to Saturday, Oct. 31. In previous years the last day has been Sept. 30.

Entering its 11th year, the Passport inspires Nebraskans and tourists to travel throughout the state collecting stamps to earn prizes, while also supporting the state’s tourism destinations. In 2019, the program generated $23.7 million in traveler spending. There has been a Nemaha County attraction in eight of its first 10 years.

“The Nebraska Passport program has a huge positive economic impact. We’re excited to encourage traveling to hidden gems throughout the state when the program launches on its new start date,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism Commission executive director.

“We’re encouraging travelers to start creating a road­map of your future Nebraska Passport adventures now, maybe a fun task while many are stuck at home during this tough time,” states Madison Johnson, Nebraska Passport program coordinator.

Passports were available at participating stops starting May 23. They can also be ordered at
Participants are also encouraged to download the Nebraska Passport App on their smartphone and get digital stamps, supplementing the physical booklet for convenience. Please note, the app has been updated with the 2020 information on the scheduled beginning date. Anyone who used the mobile app last year will need to download the update to see the new program information. To download, search NE Passport 2020 in the Apple App Store or Google Play App Store.

From the Nebraska Passport website: “The purpose of the Nebraska Passport is to help travelers discover Nebraska’s hidden gems. The Nebraska Passport is special because it offers a wide variety of travel adventures, including museums, parks, restaurants, wineries, retail stores and more. [This year’s] program runs from June 1 to October 31, 2020.”

A version of this story first ran in the Nemaha County Herald. ABJ thanks the Herald for permission to reprint it.