Know Your NRD Summer 2021 Newsletter

Know Your NRD Summer 2021 Newsletter

The Know Your NRD Summer 2021 newsletter features many exciting updates happening at LPSNRD. Articles include the public budget input, the status of groundwater in the district, dam renovations and more. Click on each button below to read the full article!


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Stabilizing Beal Slough
Lincoln's Beal Slough
Stabilizing Beal Slough

A series of small grade stabilization structures have been installed this spring along Lincoln’s Beal Slough, between 70th Street and Pine Lake Road. The Beal Slough Watershed begins near Cheney, NE and generally follows Highway 2 past the Nebraska State Penitentiary to Salt Creek. The new structures (example pictured) are built by placing large rock in the channel and side slopes. The side slopes are, then, covered with soil, seeded and certain tree species are planted as live stakes to help stabilize the area. An area between Beal Slough and a railroad right-of-way is owned by the City of Lincoln (City) and is in the City’s Comprehensive Plan to be developed as a park.

Completion of the stream stabilization project, which also includes replacement of a culvert, is expected by the end of June. The project is the latest City/LPSNRD Master Plan project for the Beal Slough Watershed. The City and LPSNRD continually evaluate and prioritize needed
maintenance and improvements to waterways in more than a dozen designated watersheds throughout Lincoln, under the Master Plan program. Projects are then completed under an interlocal agreement, as funding allows, with the City and LPSNRD usually splitting project costs evenly.

Upper Salt 3-A progress
SW second Street at Stagecoach Road
Upper Salt 3-A progress

The rehabilitation of Upper Salt Dam 3-A and the re-alignment of SW Second Street at Stagecoach Road is expected to be completed in July. Our cover photo features the new inlet structure. LPSNRD is working closely with USDA/NRCS to bring the dam, near Sprague, up
to current design standards for better flood protection downstream. Improvements include raising the dam six inches, widening Stagecoach Road along the top of the dam, a wider auxiliary spillway, new inlet structure, larger principal spillway pipe and a plunge pool impact basin to slow down peak flows.

To allow the dam improvements, SW Second Street has been re-aligned as part of the project. The county road now intersects Stagecoach Road
farther east than it did before. The old alignment of the roadway can still be seen in the background at right.

Pipe Technology
Crew working on riser in Plattsmouth

A crew works at the riser for Dam 7-C, in Plattsmouth, to install a new cured-in-place pipe. Dam 7-C is a dry dam.

crew preparing an ultra-violet light train

The crew prepare an ultra-violet “light train” to be passed through the pipe during the curing process.

a camera monitoring the curing process

The curing process is monitored by cameras, as the“light train” is passed through the pipe.

Pipe Technology

Many of the district’s hundreds of pipes that conduct stormwater through levees, dams and other structures are aging and need to be replaced. Digging one of them out and installing a new drainage pipe takes weeks but utilizing new technology that makes the original pipe as
good as new takes a single workday and costs less.

The new process is called curing-in-place. An envelope of epoxy and poly material is inflated inside and takes the shape of the old pipe, then the material is cured using steam or ultra violet light. LPSNRD District Engineer Jared Nelson said, “The result of the process is a pipe that is as strong as the original pipe and should last another 60 years.” Nelson said LPSNRD utilized cured-in-place technology in Plattsmouth in 2020 and along Deadmans Run (DMR), near 72nd and “O” streets, in Lincoln, earlier this year. The DMR pipe runs under a Dairy Queen drive-through that remained open during the project.

Nelson said in most cases a cured-in-place project will cost less than replacing the pipe completely but will cost more than another popular method called sliplining, where a slightly smaller pipe is placed inside the old one. Nelson said the advantage of cured-in-place over
sliplining is that cured-in-place pipe can be installed in pipelines with bends in them. Bends, or not, LPSNRD is continuing to systematically update old infrastructure using the latest technologies.

Visit Our Lakes, Trails and Wetlands
Wildwood Lake

Wildwood Lake

Timber Point Lake

Timber Point Lake

MoPac East Trail

MoPac East Trail

Marsh Wren Saline Wetland

Marsh Wren Saline Wetland

Visit Our Lakes, Trails and Wetlands

Make plans to visit our lakes, trails and wetlands soon! LPSNRD public use areas have plenty of space to enjoy nature while maintaining social distancing. For information on all of our areas visit!

Cottontail, Meadowlark, Merganser, Red Cedar, Tanglewood, Timber Point, Wild Plum, Wildwood

Trails: Homestead, Lied Bridge-Platte River Connection, MoPac East, Oak Creek

Wetlands: Lincoln Saline Wetlands Nature Center, Little Salt Fork Marsh Preserve, Little Salt Springs WMA, Marsh Wren Saline Wetland, Whitehead Saline Wetland

2020 Groundwater Review
2020 Groundwater Review

Each year we compile accomplishments related to groundwater and our Groundwater Annual Report is posted at Here is a list of 2020 highlights:

  • Nitrate levels in existing management areas were steady or in slight decline
  • 3.4 billion gallons reported pumped in 2020 by 324 metered wells. 56% of total was pumped by irrigation wells
  • 304 well samples, including 48 quality control samples, were collected by staff from 235 different wells to monitor groundwater quality
  • Samples were analyzed for nitrate-nitrogen, major ions, pH, specific conductance, hardness, alkalinity, and total dissolved solids
  • 288 well levels were measured in 142 different wells in the spring and fall to monitor groundwater quantity
  • No new instances of exceeding Phase II or Phase III trigger levels for quality or quantity were observed
  • LPSNRD issued nine new well permits in 2020

Groundwater data about the district as a whole, along with information on 30 individual communities in the district, including sampling results, is available in the Groundwater Annual Review at - Programs. Information about LPSNRD groundwater programs, chemigation, education, groundwater reservoirs, community water system protection areas and much more is also featured in the review.

Groundwater Levels
chart of groundwater levels
Groundwater Levels

Each spring and fall LPSNRD measures the depth to water in a network of wells district-wide to monitor available groundwater. Generally, spring levels are used in annual measurement comparisons since aquifers have had a chance to recover more from the previous summer’s irrigation. “Fall levels, though,“ according to Water Resources Conservationist Chris Witthuhn, “are useful since they give an indication of how individual aquifers are responding to summer irrigation.”

The table below shows average well measurement fluctuations between this spring and spring 2020 within each of the district’s groundwater reservoirs.

  • Spring 2021 levels were mostly lower (less available groundwater) than in Spring 2020, with only slight increases in the Crete-Princeton-Adams and the Platte River groundwater reservoirs.
  • The Missouri River groundwater reservoir is influenced greatly by rises and falls in Missouri River levels.

A groundwater reservoir map is available at - Programs - Groundwater - Monitoring.

Public Budget Input
photo of Robert Andersen
Public Budget Input

by LPSNRD Board Treasurer Robert Andersen

Our annual budget reflects the commitment by our Board of Directors, staff and the public to manage natural resources in the right ways. The Board and staff have already begun to list needs and ideas for the FY 2022 Budget and the public’s comment period will
begin with a summary of our first budget draft during the June 16th Board meeting, which begins at 6:00 PM. The draft is already available at Please access the meeting virtually, attend in person at our office or review the draft online, then let your thoughts be known about groundwater, flood control or any other of our many responsibilities. Our budget will not get final consideration until August, but the best time for public input is now, while our Board and staff can still implement the public’s ideas effectively.

The amount of thought, time and effort expended by our Board and staff in our annual budget process is significant and gives important direction for the fiscal year, which begins each July 1st. Soon, the Board of Directors will begin weighing our natural resource management needs against fiscal responsibility. It is a challenge taken very seriously by each individual member and public input is helpful and meaningful. I encourage the public to let us know their concerns and ideas soon.

Board of Directors
photo of Susan Seacrest

Susan Seacrest

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
Susan Seacrest, S Lincoln

David Landis, Lincoln

Susan Seacrest, of Lincoln, was unanimously appointed to represent LPSNRD’s 10th
Subdistrict in March. Seacrest is a founder and former leader of the Groundwater Foundation. Subdistrict 10 is in south central Lincoln and includes a portion of the area from First Street to 40th Street and from “A” Street to Pine Lake Road.

Status or procedural changes to public meetings are posted immediately to our COVID-19/Meeting Announcements webpage, covid-19/meeting announcements or our Facebook page. The webpage lists pending Board of Directors and subcommittee meetings, with information about public access. We recommend checking this posted
information within a week of each meeting.

Project Updates
Project Updates

Oak Middle Dam 82-B
USDA/NRCS rehabilitation completed northwest of Garland, in May. Includes pipe replacement, higher dam elevation, and new auxiliary spillway.

Oak Creek Weir Rehab
Rehabilitation completed in April, near 14th & Saunders, Lincoln. Constructed about 1940, when Oak Creek was straightened. Helps to stabilize the channel grade.

Marsh Wren Berm Repairs
Animal burrows into a berm have been repaired at Marsh Wren Saline Wetland. The 150-acre saline wetland restoration project is near 40th Street and Arbor Road.

Staff Updates
photo of Kristin Buntemeyer

Kristin Buntemeyer

photo of Cindy Spilinek

Cindy Spilinek

summer crew members

Summer Crew 

Staff Updates

Kristin Buntemeyer became LPSNRD’s new Administration and Finance Manager early this year. Kristin has a Master of Business Administration degree with a focus in accounting from Bellevue University. She lives in Lincoln and previously worked as financial administrator at First Plymouth Church. Welcome, Kristin!

After helping Cass County landowners make their land better for 31 years, Resource Technician Cindy Spilinek retired June 4th. She said, “It’s been great getting to know the landowners and working closely with NRCS on projects.” Cindy said she looks forward to visiting her family, including 19 grandchildren, and catching-up after the pandemic. All the best, Cindy, and thanks.

Summer Crew
Meet our summer crew: Alex, Ashton, Sunny, Elijah, Troy, and Paul. They will be working this summer, assisting us with maintenance on our lakes, wetlands and trails for all to enjoy. All six are UNL students working toward degrees in natural resource fields.

Other News
Other News

Seedling Sales
Thanks to the more than 400 district landowners who purchased 37,000 seedling trees and shrubs during our 2020-21 annual sale. Ordering for delivery of seedlings next April will begin in early November at About 30 seedling species are sold in bundles of 25 at a cost of less than $1.00 per plant.

Earth Day
More than 1,800 seventh grade students throughout the district celebrated Earth Day in April, with Earth Day kits featuring our own western tiger salamander, DART. The students got posters and activity sheets about DART’s life cycle, habitat, eating habits and favorite pastimes. Classes also got to meet DART himself, during a Zoom meet & greet.

Arbor Day
About 1,100 students from 15 district schools celebrated Arbor Day with us. They learned about the importance of trees through virtual lessons facilitated by LPSNRD Environmental Educator Adam Sutton. Some students even received a seedling to plant!

Lied Platte River Bridge 
The flood damaged Lied Platte River Bridge has re-opened at the South Bend end. Trail users may access the bridge, there, but the north end remains barricaded until the trail is completed later this summer.

Save the Date
The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts will host the National Conservation Foundation’s International Envirothon competition, virtually, July 25-28!

Oak Creek Trail
One mile of the Oak Creek Trail remains closed one mile west of Valparaiso, due to severe stream bank erosion. The segment could re-open late this year.