The Know Your NRD Fall 2021 newsletter features many exciting updates happening at LPSNRD. Articles include the 2022 budget review, trail updates, Deadmans Run latest, Conservation Coach episodes, and more. Click on each button below to read the full article

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$33.8 Million Budget Approved, No Increase in Taxes, Levy Drops
pie chart of NRD Expenditures FY 2022 budget
$33.8 Million Budget Approved, No Increase in Taxes, Levy Drops

The FY 2022 Budget, approved in August, requires a property tax levy that is 9.33% lower than the 2021 budget and the property tax requirement is the same as it was in 2020 and 2019. It takes several months each year, starting in April, to assemble the budget and there are public hearings and many opportunities for public input throughout the process. LPSNRD Board Treasurer Bob Andersen said the new $33.8 million budget, “continues our commitment to flood management, conservation, recreation and education, without a property tax increase.” 

Highlights of the budget include: 

  • Antelope Creek streambank repairs, 40th Street to Scott Ave. ($2.3M)

  • Surface Water Quality cost-sharing assistance to landowners ($1.9M)

  • Deadmans Run Flood Reduction Project, 48th Street to Cornhusker Hwy ($1.6M) 

  • Salt Creek Levees operation & maintenance ($1.3M) 

  • Groundwater Management ($1.1M) 

  • Homestead Trail bridges, culverts & bank stabilization ($900K) 

  • Upper Salt 3-A Watershed Rehabilitation ($790K) 

  • Salt Creek Resiliency Study implementation ($700K) 

  • Antelope Creek drainage pipe rehabilitation ($700K) 

  • Prairie Corridor on Haines Branch ($650K) 

  • Community Assistance Programs ($415K)  

See the complete budget at

Saltwort Established

Saltwort grows on saline wetland salt flats, but only its seeds survive to the following year to create a new generation. 

Saltwort Established

Saltwort is thriving at our Marsh Wren Saline Wetland, thanks to efforts by LPSNRD Resources Coordinator Dan Schulz and Saline Wetlands Conservation Partnership Coordinator Tom Malmstrom. LPSNRD has been restoring the wetland south of 40th Street and Arbor Road, in Lincoln, since 2014, by excavating areas and using a saltwater irrigation system to transform the soil to a more saline condition. It’s working, but until recently, one element of a pristine saline wetland that was missing from a large part of Marsh Wren was saltwort.

Saline wetland acres have dwindled in recent decades, making restorations like Marsh Wren and preserving the Salt Creek tiger beetle and Nebraska endangered saltwort (Salicornia rubra) plant even more important. In 2019, Schulz and Malmstrom took on the challenge of establishing saltwort at Marsh Wren, collecting seeds from plants at nearby Whitehead Saline Wetland (another LPSNRD restoration) and sowing them onto newly exposed salt flats at Marsh Wren. This spring the endangered annual (only the saltwort seeds survive to the next growing season) began flourishing where Schulz and Malmstrom had seeded more than a year before. Schulz said he and Malmstrom have no more saltwort seeding plans for Marsh Wren, hoping the new stand has been established and will re-seed itself naturally.

Deadmans Run Design
model flume

The UNL Engineering College built and used this model flume to help design part of the Deadmans Run Flood Reduction Project. 

Deadmans Run Design

The timelines of many construction projects were altered by the record Platte River basin flooding in 2019 and the global pandemic that followed soon after. Lincoln’s Deadmans Run Flood Reduction Project (DMR) is no exception, but recent progress has been made that will help complete the design of the project. Project modeling, including a model flume, built by the UNL Engineering College specifically for the DMR project, has furnished needed data and District Engineer Jared Nelson said the 65% design plan expected in 2022, “will provide enough information to begin landrights acquisition for the project and actual construction could begin in 2023.” Besides the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, partners include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the City of Lincoln and LPSNRD.

The $25 million Deadmans Run project includes:

  • Replacing three bridges along Deadmans Run,at 33rd, 38th and 48th Streets
  • Construction of a stormwater detention basin,west of Fleming Fields
  • Widening the main Deadmans Run channel between Cornhusker Highway and 48th Street
  • Constructing a concrete flume under two railroad bridges
  • Relocating a street access
  • Planting trees and native grasses


Summer Fun!
fishing pole on a lake

I <3 Fishing 

Marsh wren vantage point

Marsh Wren Vantage Point 

MoPac East Tunnel

MoPac East Tunnel at 134th Street 

Wooded shoreline

Just Needs a Tent 

Summer Fun!

Our LPSNRD lakes, trails and wetlands are as popular as ever. Here are some “Fan Photos” taken by visitors this summer to our public use areas who tagged us using #lpsnrd, along with some favorites taken by staff. All of our public use areas remain open to the public year-round. Learn more and check for temporary status announcements at or on our Facebook.

Trail Updates
Bike trail

Summer Trail Color 

Bike on a trail

Wish You Were Here at MoPac East!

Trail Updates

Two closed portions of our 50-mile recreational trail system could re-open next spring. The Oak Creek Trail has been closed one mile west of Valparaiso since August of 2019, due to severe erosion dangerously close to the trail surface. LPSNRD will seek bids from contractors in October to stabilize the erosion and move the trail, staying within the current trail corridor.

The other closing, along our Homestead Trail, near Hickman, occurred this summer. Erosion was, again, the cause for closure. High water undercut part of a bridge between Martell Road and South 25th Street. The bridge is being replaced. Watch and social media for updates on both closings.

Closings like these ensure safety for trail users and contractors. We appreciate trail users who observe our temporary closings. It is always a good idea to check or Facebook before excursions on the MoPac East, Oak Creek or Homestead trails. Enjoy the trails and be safe.

US 3-A Upgraded
Upper Salt Watershed dam

Newly rehabilitated Upper Salt Dam 3-A, near Sprague, will capture 195-million gallons of potential flood water from a 100-year frequency storm. The stormwater is then released slowly downstream.

US 3-A Upgraded

Upper Salt Watershed Dam 3-A, near Sprague, the latest in a long line of flood control dams upgraded throughout the district by LPSNRD with assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, was completed this summer. The project also involved working with Lancaster County to realign part of Southwest 2nd Street at Stagecoach Road, just north of the dam.

Upper Salt 3-A was originally built in 1955. The improvements, totaling $1.8 million, bring the dam up to current high hazard design standards and provide better flood protection downstream. The project included a higher and wider dam, a wider auxiliary spillway, increased flood pool storage, new inlet structure, larger principal spillway pipe and a plunge pool impact basin to slow down peak discharge flows.

Drone Weed Control
man flying a drone
Drone Weed Control

The Corps of Engineers requires annual spraying of riprap to control weeds along the Salt Creek Levee, so visual inspections can assess the condition of the riprap. LPSNRD does much of its weed control on-foot or on ATVs, but in hard-to-reach areas along the Salt Creek Levee this summer we contracted to use a drone. The drone sprayed an aquatic herbicide that is safe for people and fish. Cattails in some of our wetlands were also treated by the drone.

Twin Lakes Targeted
Twin Lakes

Looking upstream into the Twin Lakes Watershed, where landowners are being offered land treatment incentives for projects that will benefit the lakes.

Twin Lakes Targeted

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy has earmarked $300,000 of federal Section 319 Program funds for water quality improvements by landowners within the Twin Lakes Watershed Target Area. LPSNRD has budgeted another $200,000 in matching funds. The project area is in east-central Seward County and was identified as a priority area in the district’s Water Quality Management Plan approved in 2019.

Eligible landowners are being contacted about special cost-sharing incentives for cover crops, terraces, grassed waterways, basins, buffer strips, wetlands and stream stabilization projects designed to keep soil and nutrients on the land and out of lakes and waterways. Other partners in the project include USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.

A Broad Mission
headshot of Deborah Eagan
A Broad Mission

by LPSNRD Board Chair Deborah Eagan

During Covid I looked for additional outdoor activities to exercise and share time with others safely. I discovered more “hidden jewels” within the district, and most were free. I walked, biked, and skied miles of trails, saline wetlands, prairie grasslands and parks. I found being in nature helped to ground me, bringing me peace during these unsettling times.

A new FY 2022 Budget was approved in August. Among the most impressive highlights of the budget are: protecting families and businesses with the Deadmans Run Flood Reduction Project; assisting in the production of better crops through environmentally friendly methods; and preparing 40,000 school children for the future by introducing them to the importance and beauty of nature.

It is a privilege to serve as chair of the Board of Directors. It has given me the opportunity to observe firsthand how directors and staff work together to fulfill our mission: “Maintain a sustainable environment through the conservation of land, water and wildlife.”

Many factors influence how the NRD approaches our changing environment. The NRD is uniquely situated to study, plan and prepare for future climate challenges based on the best science available for the sustainability of natural resources.

I want to thank all NRD staff for their dedicated and skillful work behind the scenes to support and sustain our bountiful natural resources.

Lied Bridge Opens
Lied Bridge
Lied Bridge Opens

The Lied Platte River Bridge at South Bend is completely repaired after the 2019 Bomb Cyclone that brought record flooding. The bridge re-opened on July 3rd, with about 100 people attending.

FEMA helped fund the repairs, with additional funds coming from Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, and the two owners of the bridge: the Papio-Missouri River NRD and LPSNRD. Flood debris had to be removed from the bridge pilings two winters ago by Nebraska Game & Parks, before damage to the bridge could even be assessed. Fortunately, the trail bridge escaped any serious structural damage, but there was damage to the concrete trail surface, bridge railing and deflector cones on the upstream side of the bridge. The flood also completely washed away the bridge connector trail at the Sarpy County end and the trail had to be re-built. Damage assessment and proper repairs take time, and we appreciate the patience of trail users. The Lied Bridge offers a unique, up-close experience with the Platte River and we are glad to have it back in service.

Conservation Coach 2nd Inning
filming of episode
Big coach and little coach
Conservation Coach 2nd Inning

Watch for new episodes in our Conservation Coach LPSNRD awareness campaign. The “Coach” drove his family a little crazy two years ago, teaching them and viewers about our flood management, education and water conservation programs. Now, Big Coach and his younger brother, “Little Coach,” promote our recreation areas, land treatment cost-sharing and tree programs. Watch our Facebook and Instagram, local TV and listen to local radio, as the coaching continues.

Meet Cole
Cole Johnson
Meet Cole

Cole Johnson is our new resources technician. Cole has experience working in his family business, Johnson Pivot Construction, in Hebron, where he grew up. He is a 2017 graduate of UNL, with a degree in Geology. Cole will be helping landowners with conservation projects out of the Weeping Water office. Welcome Cole!

Project Updates
Project Updates

Beal Slough at 70th & Pine Lake
Several grade stabilization structures and a culvert were installed as part of a City of Lincoln/ LPSNRD Watershed Master Plan project. Only the planting of tree stakes remains to complete the project in December.

Antelope Creek Pipe Replacements
A construction contract was awarded in September for the replacement of 14 stormwater drainage pipes along Lincoln’s Antelope Creek. The work sites will stretch between 26th and 57th streets and completion is expected in the spring.

Trail Projects to be Bid
We’ll be seeking bids this fall to repair an eroded portion of the Oak Creek Trail, west of Valparaiso and a contractor continues to replace a bridge on the Homestead Trail, near Hickman. Let’s hope both projects result in a full 50 miles of trail fun next spring.

Other News
Other News

November 13-21 – The entire Oak Creek Trail will be closed during firearm deer hunting season. This annual closing is in the interest of trail user safety. Signs will be posted at all trail access points.

November Through March – Our annual sale of bare-root seedling trees and shrubs will be held, with delivery in April. Pricing, available species and other information will be posted at and on social media at the start of ordering.

New monofilament fishing line recycling tubes at all eight of our lakes are courtesy of Lancaster County 4-H’er John Sump, who installed the tubes as a “4-H Gives Back” project. Thanks, John!

Board Meetings
In August, the Board of Directors resumed its monthly meetings in-person at the LPSNRD office, 3125 Portia Street, in Lincoln. The meetings are open to the public and local health recommendations are being observed. Please consult or Facebook for any changes in meeting status.