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The first elements of a $35 million transformation of the state parks and recreation areas between Omaha and Lincoln, Neb., are on track to open this spring.

Picture zip lines, rock-climbing walls, an alpine slide and a floating playground that resembles a spinoff of “American Gladiators.” Then imagine a split-tiered splash pad with a short water slide, squirt guns and rain jets, according to the Scottsbluff Star Herald.

“Glamping” cabins in the woods will give people a taste of roughing it in luxury. By fall, a new RV campground opens with enough electricity to power a village, complete with Wi-Fi access.

When winter rolls around again, a new sledding hill with snow-making machines will keep runs covered until March. And the old Aksarben Aquarium will reopen as a state-of the-art interactive exploration center focused on Nebraska’s most valuable resource — water — and everything that lives in and near it.

Dubbed “Venture Parks,” the work is largely privately funded but handled by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

It’s all part of the first phase of projects planned for Mahoney and Platte River State Parks and Louisville and Schramm Park State Recreation Areas.

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