The group wants to change the name of the Homestead National Monument of America to the Homestead National Historical Park.
Friends President Diane Vicars says visitors often expect to see a physical monument when they visit the National Park Service attraction four miles west of Beatrice.
Vicars says, “According to a survey that the Homestead National Monument did a few years ago, 89% of first-time visitors to Homestead National Monument think they’re going to stop for a short period of time to take a look at a monument and then head on down the road.”
Vicars says if the word “park” is in the title, visitors tend to spend more time there.
“The research does indicate that by changing the name, that it does boost tourism,” Vicars says. “We think that would be a benefit to Homestead National Monument and to the community of Beatrice and to the region in general.”
“Vistors take a little bit longer in their planning of their travels to say perhaps there’s a little bit more to do in a park,” she says. “Maybe there’s some trails or a museum or activities to do.”
Vicars says the cost of making a name transition shouldn’t be an obstacle. She says the National Park Service does budget for updating signs and markers, while the Friends organization has some funds to support a name change.
Vicars says Congressman Adrian Smith has introduced legislation for the name change and the Friends organization is working with the office of U.S. Senator Ben Sasse on a similar effort.
Thanks to Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice