Hastings celebrates 150th anniversary and unveils a new attraction

Local4 News at Five Sunday
Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 11:05 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Historical artifacts on display for those in attendance during the anniversary event at Hastings Museum. They also saw how Hastings grew from a railroad town to the city its become.

“There has been so much history here,” said Teresa Kreutzer-Hodson, Director of Hastings Museum. “Little things that add up to big things, and a lot of different parts and pieces that have all made it work and so I think it’s important for us to recognize that and I’m really happy being able to kind of bring that to our community.”

The museum’s goal throughout the celebratory event is to remind people of how much history is in their hometown. They also held a ribbon cutting for new place kids can come play, have fun, and learn.

“The outdoor classroom,” Hodson said. “There is an epidemic that is running a cross the nation, of nature deficient disorder. Where kids are not connecting with nature and so we saw an opportunity to have this outdoor classroom to help connect kids to the outdoors. Giving them activities to help them think creatively and problem solve.”

City officials also felt like the museum was the perfect place in town to put the outdoor classroom.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to have an outdoor classroom here in the city and the museum is a great place for it to be,” said Mayor Corey Stutte. “So, we have a lot children activities, a lot of classes in the summer, and this going be a great addition to the museum here so I think it’ll be important for children moving forward and really happy to see it come to fruition.”

The idea for an outdoor classroom came about when the museum was simply trying to fix a water leak in the front of the building. They turned a simple fix into filling a void in the community.

“In this space, we have a music wall, we have a weather station — there are art and different activities that they can do,” Hodson said. “Not only with markers and paint and stuff but with natural things. So they can use pine cones to make something or they can use grass or whatever.”

Hastings Museum intends to open the outdoor classroom every weekend, weather permitting.