The Know Your NRD Spring 2022 newsletter features many exciting updates happening at LPSNRD. Articles include Sediment Removal, Election Preview, Bills of Interest, Levee Trail Improvement, Cover Crop Program, and more. Click on each button below to read the full article.

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Order Seedlings Until 3/25
image of a seedling
Order Seedlings Until 3/25

Every year over 400 LPSNRD landowners purchase 40,000 seedling trees and shrubs through our Conservation Forestry Program. The bare root seedlings are sold by species, in bundles of 25, and 25 trees or shrubs (one bundle) is the minimum order. The cost is less than $1.00/plant. Ordering begins each November and continues until late March. Some species do sell out before the ordering deadline, so we encourage early ordering. This year’s ordering deadline is March 25th. Our available species are selected especially for windbreaks and establishing wildlife habitat, but the list of other possible uses and benefits is endless.

Patrons are notified when orders can be picked up from the LPSNRD office and orders are normally ready for pickup prior to Arbor Day, in April. The LPSNRD forester is available to meet landowners at their planting site, free of charge, to make suggestions. Those interested can contact Fortester Jay Seaton, at 402-476-2729 or To order, visit and look for the green “Order Seedlings” link near the top of the Home page.

Sediment Removal
sediment being cleaned out of a creek
Sediment Removal

Material flowing down Lincoln’s Antelope Creek collects by the Antelope Valley Project weir. Our maintenance team removed sediment (sand, gravel, dirt and organic matter) from Antelope Creek, northeast of Lincoln High School, north of “J” Street in December. Rainfall in the watershed washes the sediment into storm sewers which drain into Antelope Creek. The routine removal helps keep enough capacity in the channel for high flows. The sediment removal is done entirely in-house by our maintenance crew. Once our crews remove the sediment from the channel, a contractor will load up the sediment and truck it away.

Ice Watch
snow covered riverbank
Ice Watch

The Lower Platte South NRD is part of a network of agencies that monitor ice conditions on the lower Platte River each winter. The Lower Platte North and the Papio-Missouri River NRDs are also part of the network, along with counties downstream of Columbus and several state agencies. Similar regional networks monitor Platte River ice along its entire course through Nebraska.

Observers, like Trent Henry and Drew Ratkovec, of the LPSNRD maintenance staff, are trained to report conditions weekly, starting each December, paying particular attention to the threat of ice jamming. Flooding caused by ice jams can be minor to severe. Learn more by listening to our ice monitoring podcast at

Election Preview
Election Preview

Twelve LPSNRD Board seats are up for election in 2022. The Board consists of 21 directors: two representing each of ten subdistricts and an at-large director. Directors serve fouryear terms, with 10 seats automatically on ballots every two years. This year the Board’s At-Large seat is on ballots, along with a two-year term in Subdistrict 3.

Board incumbents were to declare their candidacy for re-election on or before February 15th. The non-incumbent deadline is March 1st and information and filing forms are available on the website of the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office. If more than two candidates file for the same seat, they will all appear on May 10th Primary Election ballots in that subdistrict, with the top two candidates advancing to the November 8th General Election. If two or fewer candidates file, there will not be a primary election for that Board seat. A subdistrict map, redrawn last year, due to the census, is available at LPSNRD. org/About.

New Map to Govern 2022 Elections
In December, directors approved a new subdistrict map that will be used for the 2022 Primary and General elections. Every ten years LPSNRD subdistrict boundaries must be updated, based on data from the latest census and in accordance with state statutes. LPSNRD has two elected board representatives from each of ten subdistricts, plus an atlarge member. Board members must live in the subdistrict they represent. An updated interactive subdistrict map is posted at and is an easy way to learn which subdistrict is yours.

Board Seats up for Election (by subdistrict)

1. Gary Hellerich, Valparaiso
2. Mark Spangler, Murray
3. Vern Barrett, Ceresco; Ken Vogel, NE Lincoln (2-year term) 
4. Larry Ruth, Walton 
5. Bruce Johnson, W Lincoln 
6. Deborah Eagan, NW Lincoln
7. Luke Peterson, NE Lincoln 
8. Tom Green, SE Lincoln 
9. Bob Andersen, SE Lincoln 
10. Susan Seacrest, S Lincoln

At-Large: David Landis, Lincoln

Bills of Interest
Bills of Interest

Each year we identify bills introduced in the Nebraska Legislature that may modify the many ways we preserve and protect natural resources. Below are some of the bills and resolutions we are watching this session:

LB 1135
Change provision relating to conservation or preservation easements and property tax exemptions relating to such easements

LB 1255
Appropriate federal funds to the University of Nebraska for an updated climate change report

LB 1023
Adopt the Lake Development Act and the Water Recreation Enforcement Act

LB 925
Adopt the Resilient Soils and Water Quality Act and state intent regarding appropriations

LB 1160
Appropriate federal funds to the Department of Environment and Energy for reverse osmosis systems.

There are a number of other bills we are monitoring as they make their way through the legislative process. During this process bills can be amended and we continue to track and monitor them.

Conservation Easements
a picturesque prairie
The Sittler family established

[Top two photos] The Sittler family established a conservation easement in 2006 on native prairie land they had used for years to graze livestock. 

Hwy 77 prairie

In 1999, three adjacent landowners approached LPSNRD and were interested in protecting the prairie and woodland areas around their homes. 

Conservation Easements

Sometimes landowners who want to protect and preserve their land, so it can be enjoyed by future generations, establish a conservation easement. A conservation easement can be established on any type of land, but is usually created to preserve a special area, like a native prairie, wetland, or woodland.

The landowner must find an entity, such as an NRD, city, county or other organization willing to hold and administer the easement in perpetuity. The entity will work with the landowner to develop an easement agreement that satisfies the landowner’s wishes and the entity will help get county approval of the conservation easement.

I love standing and listening to all of the birds, insects and wildlife that have made our land their home. I find comfort in knowing that since our land is protected through the conservation easement program, this land will never be disturbed or disrupted from its natural state. This Tall Grass Prairie will continue to provide nutritious feed for the cattle that will graze it for years in perpetuity.” - Alice Sittler LPSNRD Landowner

Nebraska’s Conservation and Preservation Easement Act (LB 173) was introduced by State Senator Jerome Warner, of Waverly, and adopted by the legislature in 1981. LPSNRD holds Nebraska’s first conservation easement, established by Walt and Virginia Bagley in 1982 on land they owned east of Lincoln, now called Prairie Pines. Today we hold 19 conservation easements over 1,400 acres throughout the district and each is maintained according to the wishes of the landowner who established the easement. The landowner retains actual ownership of the easement land and even if the land is sold, the easement persists.

A recent opinion poll shows 90% of Nebraskans support conservation easements and use public dollars to fund them. The poll results transcend any political affiliation.

Many of the conservation easements held by LPSNRD are bordered by some form of residential or commercial development. Without a conservation easement in place, the easement land; saline wetland, native prairie, hardwood forest or some other special place worthy of preservation; would almost certainly be lost to development.

Learn more at

Levee Trail Improvement
levee trail
Levee Trail Improvement

A new underpass along Lincoln’s Salt Creek Levee Trail will soon give users easier passage under BNSF tracks, just north of Rosa Parks Way. Completion and opening of the new trail section is expected sometime this spring. Users will no longer have to leave the levee to use the old underpass near 1st & J streets. Because LPSNRD operates the Salt Creek Levee, we are responsible for levee trail construction and improvements. Completed levee trail projects are maintained by the City of Lincoln.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation is administering the $1.2 million project, with 80% funding by the Federal Highway Administration. The remaining 20% comes mostly from LPSNRD and the Railroad Transportation Safety District. The Great Plains Trails Network is also a contributor.

Cover Crop Program Grows
a field of crops
Cover Crop Program Grows

Year four of LPSNRD’s Cover Crop Program brought 51 applicants. Participation has climbed steadily since the program began with three applicants in 2018, but the area of landowner eligibility has increased, too. The Salt Creek Watershed upstream of Lincoln was added in 2021. Costsharing on the 51 applications approved in the fall of 2021 would total over $103,000. Resources technicians work with the producer to apply, inspect the cover crops during the winter, then verify termination in the spring, before producers are reimbursed.

LPSNRD’s Cover Crop Program offers landowners up to $2,000 in cost-sharing per year. Those interested should contact their local NRCS office to determine land eligibility. Applications are due annually by October 1st. After approval by LPSNRD, cover crops must be planted by October 1st (aerial) or November 1st (drilled).

More information is available at

Watershed Enhancement

Twin Lakes

Watershed Enhancement

Landowners in the district’s Twin Lakes Watershed, in east- central Seward County, have begun taking advantage of enhanced incentives offered by LPSNRD to improve water quality in the watershed. According to Stormwater/Watershed Specialist Tracy Zayac, one terrace cost-sharing project has already been completed and another landowner has planted a cover crop, both through district cost-share programs.

LPSNRD offers cost-sharing on terraces, grassed waterways, basins, buffer strips, farm ponds, wetlands, stream stabilization, as-well-as cover crops, all designed to keep soil and nutrients on the land and out of lakes and waterways. The enhanced cost- sharing available through the Twin Lakes Watershed Project, in particular, is targeted toward keeping these nutrients out of East and West Twin Lakes, located just north of Interstate 80, west of 154 Road. Cost-sharing for the incentives comes from federal Section 319 funds, administered through the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy and from LPSNRD matching funds. Landowners can get help from the Seward County NRCS office to determine which land treatment practice and available incentive would most benefit their land and the watershed as a whole. Landowners in the watershed interested in adding a farm pond have until February 28th to apply. Contact the Seward County NRCS office to get started on the application process.

Celebrating Fifty Years
LPSNRD Board Chair, Deborah Eagan
Celebrating Fifty Years

By LPSNRD Board Chair, Deborah Eagan

The Dust Bowl of the 1930s taught us the importance of protecting our natural resources. In 1972, Nebraska turned to a new and innovative approach to meet this challenge. Twenty-three (23) Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) bordering major river basins were established to help conserve and manage our natural resources. This year we are celebrating 50 years of conservation achievements by the NRDs.

While some states are facing serious groundwater declines, Nebraska has effectively sustained groundwater levels close to those of the 1950s. Nebraska is truly a national leader in the management of natural resources, and much of the credit belongs to the NRDs. Here are a few important projects planned and completed during the current fiscal year:

  • Water Sustainability Fund grants of nearly $400,000
  • Grants to improve water quality in the Twin Lakes watershed
  • Deadman’s Run flood reduction project
  • Website translation to multiple languages
  • Lied bridge rehabilitation after 2019 bomb cyclone
  • Educational opportunities for students with nature fieldtrips, Family Nature Nights, and classroom presentations
  • Investment in latest technologies to collect groundwater data
  • Cover crop program expansion to protect and improve soil fertility and erosion control

All this and much more is being accomplished by LPSNRD with a lower 2022 tax levy. My thanks to NRD staff for their dedicated and skillful work.

Project Updates
Project Updates

Antelope Creek Pipe Replacements
Work has begun on the replacement of 14 stormwater drainage pipes along Lincoln’s Antelope Creek. The work sites stretch between 26th and 57th streets and completion is expected in June.

Little Salt Creek Watershed Master Plan
LPSNRD and Lincoln Watershed Management partnered to stabilize Little Salt Creek at 14th Street, ½ mile north of Waverly Road. Replacement of the 14th Street bridge was completed by Lancaster County.

Northwest Tributary Project
Lincoln Watershed Management also joined us to complete stabilization of a section of the northwest tributary to the Southeast Upper Salt Creek Watershed, east of Tree Line Drive in the Wilderness Hills Development. Streambanks on both sides were stabilized with riprap, and a rock grade control was installed in the channel to prevent further incision.

Staff Updates
LPSNRD Social Strategist, Parker Robinson
LPSNRD Retiree, Dan Schulz
Staff Updates

Social Strategist - Parker Robinson
When you see our posts on social media it’s the work of Parker Robinson, our new social media strategist. Besides managing our social media accounts, he tracks social media effectiveness and produces podcasts and videos. Parker is a graduate of Dickinson State University, in western North Dakota and is working on his master’s degree in integrated media communication at UNL. He is married and lives in Lincoln. Welcome, Parker!

Retiree - Dan Schulz
Long-time LPSNRD Resources Coordinator Dan Schulz retired in December. During his more than 39 years of service, Dan was responsible for helping to create and administer our programs for groundwater and wildlife conservation. He was also involved in the development and management of our public lakes, trails, wetlands and conservation easements. The LPSNRD staff wishes Dan all the best.

Other News
Other News

Trail News
Completion of repair projects on our Oak Creek and Homestead trails is expected sometime this spring. The second mile of the Oak Creek Trail, west of Valparaiso continues to be closed due to severe erosion. A contractor is working to stabilize the erosion and that portion of the trail will be re-located within the current trail corridor.

A 1.5-mile stretch of the Homestead Trail, just south of Hickman Road, between Martell Road and South 25th Street is also closed due to erosion. A trail bridge there is being replaced by a box culvert. Cooperation from trail users is appreciated. It is always a good idea to check or Facebook for updates, prior to enjoying our 50 miles of recreational trails.

Extended Outreach can now be translated on-demand into nine different languages. The new capability results from interest by LPSNRD Board members in making sure non-English speaking constituents know about our programs and projects.

The nine languages are among those prominently spoken by non-English speaking citizens in the district. Board member and Information and Education Subcommittee Chair David Landis told the Board, “I believe this is an excellent step in our continuing efforts to more completely include district residents in our outreach.” To use the new translation service, visit and click the Select Language tab at lower right. With a few map and graphic exceptions, the website will be translated to your selected language after a few minutes.

Officers Elected
Congratulations to our Board officers, elected in January:

Chair: Deborah Eagan
Vice-Chair: David Landis
Treasurer: Bob Andersen
Secretary: Chelsea Johnson
NARD Representative: Luke Peterson
NARD Alternate: Tom Green

Board Meetings
Public attendance and participation are welcomed at meetings of the LPSNRD Board of Directors and subcommittees of the Board. Please consult for announcements about meeting status. Links for accessing meetings to be held virtually are also posted there.