Know Your NRD Spring 2021 Newsletter

Know Your NRD Spring 2021 Newsletter

The Know Your NRD Spring 2021 newsletter features many exciting updates happening at LPSNRD. Articles include the election results, conservation forestry program seedling tree sales, dam renovations and more. Click on each button below to read the full article!

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Partnerships Benefit Salt Creek
wattles to help stabilize the stream banks
Partnerships Benefit Salt Creek

In 2020, LPSNRD was one of five partner agencies in a $5 million utility and watershed management project at Salt Creek and Old Cheney Road that improved utility services west of Highway 77, stabilized the Salt Creek banks and stream channel, improved protection of a bridge and finished early. South Salt Creek Watershed Project #4 is part of the watershed master plan agreement between the City of Lincoln and LPSNRD. LPSNRD did not get involved in the project until after utility improvements were completed in September, by Lincoln Water and Lincoln Wastewater. Lancaster County, Lincoln Watershed Management and LPSNRD split the costs of bridge protection and stream stabilization, resulting in a cost of approximately $400,000 to LPSNRD.

The design of the project utilized wattles to help stabilize the stream banks (shown). These rolls of straw, staked and tied into place, help to minimize erosion, until vegetation is established on the streambanks. The wattles are designed to eventually degrade and add organic material to the soil.

Coordinating five different agencies, contractors and several engineering firms into a successful project was a challenge. LPSNRD Assistant General Manager David Potter called the project, “a successful joint effort.” Lincoln Watershed Management was the lead partner in the non-utility portion of the project, which was substantially completed in October. Plantings will be installed this spring.

Dam Rehabs
upper salt watershed dam 3-a under construction in january
Dam Rehabs

LPSNRD works with the USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service to bring high-hazard dams up to current design standards. The rehabilitation of Upper Salt Dam 3-A, at Southwest Second Street and Stagecoach Road, near Sprague and upstream of Lincoln, continued through the winter, with completion expected this summer. Besides improvements to the dam, a portion of Southwest Second Street is being realigned as part of the project.

Another USDA/NRCS dam rehabilitation project will resume soon, after a winter shutdown. Oak Middle Watershed Dam 82-B, northwest of Garland, is being improved with a new pipe, higher dam elevation and a new auxiliary spillway. Completion is expected this spring.

Pictured is the Upper Salt Watershed Dam 3-A under construction in January.

Weir Rehab
This Oak Creek weir, near 14th and Saunders streets, is being rehabilitated.

This Oak Creek weir, near 14th and Saunders streets, is being rehabilitated

A similar Oak Creek weir, near First Street, after it was rehabilitated in 2018.

A similar Oak Creek weir, near First Street, after it was rehabilitated in 2018

Upstream view of the 14th Street Weir. Lincoln’s Salt Creek Levee Trail and UNL’s Hibner Stadium are in the background.

Upstream view of the 14th Street Weir. Lincoln’s Salt Creek Levee Trail and UNL’s Hibner Stadium are in the background

Weir Rehab

An Oak Creek weir, at approximately 14th and Saunders streets, near UNL’s Hibner Stadium soccer and tennis complex, is getting its first significant makeover since it was built 80 years ago. Work began in November and substantial completion is expected in March at a cost of $425,000, with vegetation establishment this spring. The work includes repair to the concrete weir face, replacement of dispersive clay with good clay to reshape the banks, and rock “rip-rap” to armor the banks in the vicinity of the weir.

Weirs are small dam-like structures constructed across waterways, which transition the elevation of streamflow from higher to lower elevations. This decreases erosion upstream by slowing down the flow of water.

The Oak Creek weir near 14th Street and a similar one on Oak Creek near First Street, according to Nelson, “are primarily to stabilize the channel grade to prevent incision or headcutting of the creek-bed. A stable creek-bed is vital to streambank stability, which helps protect development and land along and upstream of the weir.” Keeping the weirs on Oak Creek, through Lincoln, in good repair helps Salt Creek and its levee system convey potential flood water downstream and away from the city.

We Sell Seedling, Trees & Shrubs!
seedling planters
seedling planter
american elm

American Elm

sycamore tree


Skunkbush Sumac tree

Skunkbush Sumac

Lilac, Common

Lilac, Common

Black Hills Spruce tree

Black Hills Spruce

We Sell Seedling, Trees & Shrubs!

Each year, through our Conservation Forestry Program, LPSNRD offers bare root seedling trees and shrubs for sale. While about 40 species are offered especially for their windbreak and wildlife habitat value, the list of potential benefits from adding trees to any landscape is endless.

Ordering will continue until March 26th, then patrons will be notified when they can pick up their seedlings in late April or early May and plant them. Learn more details about the program.

Welcome New Directors
Christine Lamberty

Christine Lamberty
Subdistrict 8, Southeast Lincoln

Lisa Lews

Lisa Lewis
Subdistrict 9, Southeast Lincoln

Ron Nolte

Ron Nolte
Subdistrict 2, Plattsmouth

Ken Vogel

Ken Vogel
Subdistrict 3, Northeast Lincoln

john yoakum

John Yoakum
Subdistrict 5, West Lincoln

Welcome New Directors
Election Results
Election Results

Five new members took their seats on the LPSNRD Board in January:

  • Ron Nolte, of Plattsmouth, Subdistrict 2
  • John Yoakum, of Lincoln, Subdistrict 5
  • Christine Lamberty, of Lincoln, Subdistrict 8
  • Lisa Lewis, of Lincoln, Subdistrict 9

The fifth new Board member, Ken Vogel, was appointed to the Board, after the death of Subdistrict 3 Director Mike DeKalb, in November. Vogel was one of five applicants considered by the Board to fill the seat. Ordinarily, Board members are elected to four-year terms, however, since Vogel was appointed, under state statutes he will serve a two-year term on the Board, before his seat is up for election in 2022.

These directors were opposed in the November General Election and re-elected:

  • Gary Aldridge, Lincoln, Subdistrict 4
  • Ray Stevens, Lincoln, Subdistrict 10

These LPSNRD Board members were unopposed in November:

  • Don Jacobson, Lincoln, Subdistrict 1
  • Anthony Shutz, Lincoln, Subdistrict 6
  • Chelsea Johnson, Lincoln, Subdistrict 7

See the complete listing of current LPSNRD Board members and view the subdistrict map.

Eagan is New Chair
eagan headshot
Eagan is New Chair

Deborah Eagan became the new Chair of the LPSNRD Board of Directors, January 20th. The 21-member Board elects new leadership each January. Eagan, who represents Subdistrict 6, (NW Lincoln) took over after two terms as vice-chair, under outgoing Chair Larry Ruth. Under the Board’s Operating Policies, members may serve no more than two consecutive terms in the same office. Eagan has served on the Board since 2015.

The Board made David Landis, its new vice-chair and Bob Andersen is the new Treasurer. Landis has been on the Board since 2007 and also served for eleven years, starting in 1972. Andersen served on the Board from 1987 to 2014, and since 2017. Chelsea Johnson, who has served since 2017, was elected Secretary.

The Board also elects a representative and alternate to serve on the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts Board each January. Luke Peterson, who was the alternate representative last year, was made representative for 2021. Tom Green, a board member since 2019, was elected the alternate.

New Tree Programs
co blue spruce tree
New Tree Programs

by LPSNRD Forester Jay Seaton

In addition to our sales of seedling trees and shrubs, LPSNRD will soon announce details of two NEW tree programs. To encourage a healthy urban forest, we’ll soon begin taking cost-sharing applications year-round on the purchase and planting of landscape trees anywhere in the district.

The second new program is aimed at renovating the many shelterbelts and windbreaks in the district that are aging and need to be replaced. In partnership with the USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Nebraska Forest Service, we’ll soon begin evaluating applications year-round to renovate these important tools that can protect livestock, increase crop yields and even bring a better quality of life.

Keep watching our social media and the website for specific details about both of these programs.

Strong Commitments
Larry Ruth

Larry Ruth
Outgoing Board Chair

Strong Commitments

By Outgoing Board Chair Larry Ruth

2020 saw great changes at LPSNRD in how the staff works (including at home) and how staff, directors and the public meet (including “virtually”). Additionally, there have been two significant and positive highlights in 2020.

First, we continue to have progress in the Deadmans Run Flood Reduction Project in Lincoln. The project will reduce the current 100-year flood plain of Deadmans Run by about 250 acres thus no longer including about 500 homes and businesses in the flood plain. $25 million in funding is in place and the completed project will benefit properties in an area between North 33rd and 48th streets, just north of UNL’s East Campus. The funding comes from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Nebraska Water Sustainability Fund, the City of Lincoln and LPSNRD.

Second, the LPSNRD Board has a growing commitment to address changes in climate. Both our 2019 Master Plan and Long Range Implementation Plan for 2020-2025 include recognition that mitigation of and adaptation to changes in climate are consistent with our statutory purposes. Additionally, our Board and staff are to study the scientific consensus on the effect of changes in climate in our region and especially in Nebraska, and to consider the effect of changes in climate when working on LPSNRD programs.

Finally, it is our goal to implement programs and practices that improve carbon capture potential of land resources as a mitigation tool.

It has been my privilege to be the Chair of the Board of Directors for the past two years. NRDs are unique to Nebraska and play a significant role in natural resources development and protection.

Board of Directors
Board of Directors

Here are your LPSNRD Board representatives, listed by subdistrict.

  • Don Jacobson, W Lincoln Gary Hellerich, Valparaiso
  • Ron Nolte, Plattsmouth Mark Spangler, Murray
  • Vern Barrett, Ceresco Ken Vogel, NE Lincoln
  • Gary Aldridge, SE Lincoln Larry Ruth, Walton
  • John Yoakum, W Lincoln Bruce Johnson, W Lincoln
  • Anthony Schutz, NW Lincoln Deborah Eagan, NW Lincoln
  • Chelsea Johnson, NE Lincoln Luke Peterson, NE Lincoln
  • Christine Lamberty, SE Lincoln Tom Green, SE Lincoln
  • Lisa Lewis, SE Lincoln Bob Andersen, SE Lincoln
  • Ray Stevens, S Lincoln (vacancy)

David Landis, Lincoln

Status or procedural changes to public meetings are posted immediately to our COVID-19/ Meeting Announcements webpage. Listed are pending Board and subcommittee meetings, with information about public access. You may also phone our office for the latest: (402) 476-2729, weekdays, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Project Updates
Project Updates

70th & Pine Lake Road
LPSNRD/City of Lincoln Watershed Master Plan project along Beal Slough. Project to begin this spring, by High Plains Enterprises, at a cost of $399,000, shared equally between the City of Lincoln and LPSNRD.

Stream Cleanups
LPSNRD maintenance crews completed two sediment removal projects, thanks to favorable weather late in the fall. Projects were along Antelope Creek, near “A” Street and along Deadmans Run, southeast of 56th & Holdrege.

Salt Creek Levee
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed repairs to Lincoln’s Salt Creek Levee, following a high-water event in March 2019. Fourteen sites along the levee were repaired at a cost to the Corps of $4.7 million. LPSNRD is the local sponsor of the federal levee project built in the 1960s.

Other News
Other News

New signs like the one to the right mark completed projects that improve soil and surface water quality. We love cost-sharing with good stewards of the land.

LPSNRD is monitoring Platte River ice conditions each week, along with many other agencies. Learn more about this important function by listening to a podcast.

One mile of the Oak Creek Trail remains closed one mile west of Valparaiso, due to severe stream bank erosion. An engineering firm is designing repairs.