For The Homestead…name change is a gradual process

BEATRICE - Travelers and visitors to a National Park Unit west of Beatrice are beginning to see a name change take hold.

The Homestead National Monument of America, is now the Homestead National Historical Park…and evidence of the change is showing up in the past couple of weeks.

"I've not received a lot of comments on the name change, but we are slowly rolling things you'll notice on our visitor center we've changed the name...our entrance signs, the name has's a's a process."  Amy Genke is the Homestead National Historical Park’s Program Manager for Interpretation and Resources. 

Late last year, Congress approved and the President signed the name change, which was sought to better depict the park representing the Homestead Act of 1862 and its role in the settlement of the United States.  Some of the sign changes are temporary coverings until the permanent face is installed. Genke said there are a lot of things affected by the change.

"Things on our website, our brochures and documents, signs and audio recordings...even changing phone messages and e-mails. Our name is in a lot of places."

Some pandemic precautions remain in place at the park, four miles west of Beatrice.  "So, we're getting ready to have some modified in-person events this we're looking at hosting events outside, to really help comply with the CDC guidance,"  Genke says.

Masks are still required inside all federal buildings, and that goes for the Education and Heritage Centers at the Homestead. Events coming up soon include the Tallgrass Fiddle Festival at the end of May and activities around Homestead Days in June.

"And, again they will be modified, they will be outdoor events and we'll also offer some livestream of those events, as well."

Park officials say visitation at the Homestead is beginning to increase as a pandemic-weary population does its best to resume going to events and attractions.