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Big Elk, Portal Recreation Areas in Papillion set to open next week (copy)

Big Elk, Portal Recreation Areas in Papillion set to open next week (copy)

Big Elk Lake

Big Elk Lake, near 108th Street and Cornhusker Road, is set to open to the public Tuesday. It’s one of two new Papillion-area lakes scheduled to open, along with Portal Lake, off 114th and Cornhusker. Both lakes will provide flood mitigation and recreation.

Big Elk Lake and Portal Lake Recreation Areas will open to the public next week. 

The two recreation areas are Papillion's newest flood-mitigation reservoirs. They're designed to provide flood protection for Papillion and Sarpy County. 

The spaces also offer recreational benefits and green space. 

Next Tuesday, Rudi Mitchell, an ancestor of Chief Big Elk of the Omaha Tribe, will hold a cedar ceremony to bless the lake and surrounding recreation area. A cedar ceremony involves burning cedar on charcoal. 

The ceremony is slated for 9:30 a.m. at the Big Elk Lake picnic shelter near 108th Street and Cornhusker Road.   

The recreation area is named after Big Elk, who lived from 1770 to 1846 and was a chief of the Omaha Tribe for many years.  

The space includes a 13-acre lake with an additional 46 acres of parkland. Visitors can take part in non-motorized boating, kayaking and canoeing, and fishing. The space includes 1.1 miles of hiking and biking trails. 

Portal Lake Recreation Area, off 114th Street and Cornhusker Road, includes a 34-acre lake with 109 acres of parkland. Visitors can take part in no-wake boating, fishing and kayaking as well as 1.45 miles of hiking and biking trails.

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