The Know Your NRD Summer 2022 newsletter features many exciting updates happening at LPSNRD. Articles include Groundwater Review, LPSNRD Celebrates 50 Years, Infrastructure Updates, Trail Updates, and more. Click on each button below to read the full article.

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Groundwater Review
Groundwater Review

LPSNRD compiles an annual review of accomplishments related to the groundwater we all drink and use. Our complete 2021 Groundwater Annual Report is posted at

Here are some highlights: 

  • Staff collected 335 samples from 242 wells. Samples were collected from a variety of well types. Depending on the location, samples may have been tested for major ions, pH, specific conductance, hardness, alkalinity, and total dissolved solids, and all samples were analyzed for nitrate-nitrogen.
  • Water levels are surveyed each spring and fall with a total of 289 measurements from 140 wells in 2021. Groundwater levels in 92 of the wells decreased and 47 of them showed increases. The maximum decline in any well was 6.92 feet and the largest increase was 4.68 feet.
  • The district issued 10 water well permits in 2021: six for irrigation, three for commercial use, and one for public water supply. All three commercial permits were for Monolith Nebraska, near Hallam, for their carbon black and future anhydrous ammonia production facility.
  • LPSNRD cost-shared with 10 landowners on the decommissioning of wells. Abandoned wells can be a physical hazard to people and animals if the well is not properly sealed. They can also carry storm runoff and pollution directly to groundwater. The district has decommissioned 1,040 wells since its cost-sharing program began in 1990!

Water Resources Coordinator Dick Ehrman consults with partner agencies to develop our own Weather/Precipitation Outlook that has a focus on LPSNRD. Ehrman shares, “The late April and May rains have helped the drought conditions, but the indication is still that we’ll have warm temperatures this summer, and as of right now, precipitation amounts look to be normal to below normal.” To view the outlook, visit

With projections calling for warm temperatures and normal to below precipitation, for this summer, the Lower Platte River Consortium, of which Lower Platte South NRD is a partner along with other agencies and NRDs, is asking the public to proactively conserve water. LPSNRD General Manager Paul Zillig said, “Our group recognizes the need to be more proactive and communicate with the public so we can all work together to ensure conservation.” The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources launched an online dashboard that brings together information about drought conditions and indicators and streamflow projections for the Platte River at Ashland.

View the complete 2021 Groundwater Annual Report, groundwater reservoir maps, weather & precipitation outlook, drought, and more here

2021-2022 LEVELS

Groundwater levels are measured regularly in a district-wide network of wells to track groundwater level changes. The NRD compares spring-to-spring levels, as outlined by our Groundwater Management Plan. The table shows average well measurement fluctuations within each of the district’s reservoirs and these measurements reflect winter and spring with below-average precipitation. These measurements were completed prior to the spring rains in late April and May.

Salt Creek Levee
Aerial view of haymarket park

Haymarket Park parking lot is designed to store flood water temporarily during high rain events

RR bridge

High water in the levee (May 2015)

Salt Creed levee in 1964

Construction of the levee (1964)

Salt Creek Levee

Did you know there is a levee system in the city of Lincoln along Salt Creek?During high rain events, the Salt Creek Levees that run from Calvert to Superior streets help to divert water and carry it out of Lincoln.

A levee is an earthen embankment parallel to a creek that is built to contain, control, or divert water to help control/ reduce flooding. The Salt Creek Levee, built in the mid-1960s by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), runs along both sides of the creek, keeping floodwater away from Lincoln homes and businesses. When the NRDs were formed in 1972, LPSNRD became the local sponsor, responsible for its operation and maintenance. The Corps estimates, that since the levees were built, they have prevented $100 million in flood damage to Lincoln homes and businesses.

The NRD staff is constantly checking the levee and all its components ensuring they function properly. It is important to remember the Salt Creek levees are designed to contain a 50-year frequency storm and not a 100-year storm. While a levee protects an area from stream overflow, storm runoff from a watershed can still back up against the outside face of a levee and cause flooding. Levees are best avoided during major storms.

When record rainfall occurred in Lincoln and surrounding areas in May of 2015, over 7 inches in 8 hours, NRD staff went to work, monitoring the levees to make sure they functioned properly. The 13.5-mile levee is part of a larger system of dams in the watershed, constructed to reduce flooding from these types of events. These dams held back record amounts of water, billions of gallons, delaying it from entering Salt Creek which was already at record levels. Normally, Salt Creek flows less than a foot deep with water, but during this event, it was averaging 25 feet deep.

The Salt Creek Levee and surrounding flood control structures served their purpose, containing the floodwaters, through the 2015 storm and highlighting LPSNRD’s investment and preparation in flood control projects. We will continue to invest in many projects, helping to reduce flooding and associated damages throughout the NRD.

LPSNRD Celebrates 50 Years!
LPSNRD Celebrates 50 Years!


In 1969, the Nebraska State Unicameral passed LB 1357, creating the state’s Natural Resources Districts (NRDs). Introduced by State Senator Maurice Kremer, whose area of interest would earn him the nickname “Mr. Water,” the bill consolidated the state’s 154 special purpose entities into today’s 23 NRDs. Governor Norbert Tiemann signed the bill and the NRDs officially began operation on July 1, 1972.

Rather than organizing by county boundaries, the new system utilized watershed boundaries to determine jurisdiction. To this day, Nebraska is the only state in the U.S. with such a structure. By design, the approach ensures local protection and conservation of natural resources, governed by a locally elected board of directors with property tax funding authority. State statutes give the board several purposes: groundwater quality and quantity, flood control, recreation, wildlife habitat, environmental education, forestry, erosion control, stormwater management, and stream stabilization.

To celebrate our 50th Anniversary with us we invite you to get out and explore our NRD with our new scavenger hunt! Each activity is worth varying points, and you cross them off as you go! Once you hit 50 points, you can submit your hunt for a set of collectible NRD stickers and postcards. Or complete the whole hunt for bragging rights and to be entered in a drawing for some 50th shirts!

Join the scavenger hunt!



  • North Oak Creek Watershed Flood Protection Project
  • Deadmans Run and Antelope Creek Streambank Stabilization


  • Adopted a Ground Water Management Plan
  • Began Cost-sharing Programs to Assist Landowners with Conservation Practices


  • Weeping Water Watershed Project
  • Accepted Title to MoPac East and Oak Creek Trail Corridors and Converted them to Recreational Trails
Wildwood Lake (North Oak 1-A) under construction (1970s)       Rail line that would become the MoPac East Trail (1990s)  


  • Antelope Valley Project Construction
  • Stevens Creek Watershed Project


  • Antelope Valley Project Completion
  • Integrated Management Surface and Groundwater Plan


  • Deadmans Run Flood Protection Project
  • Salt Creek Levee SWIG Updating
                    Stevens Creek Dam A17-1 (2000s)                            Union Plaza part of the Antelope Valley Project (2010s)
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

June 18, 3-7 pm 
Conestoga State Recreation Area
Organized by Nebraska Game & Parks

June 23, 5:30-7:30 pm 
Wildwood Lake
Organized by LPSNRD

August 2, 5-6 pm 
Walton Trailhead 
Organized by LPSNRD

Infrastructure Updates
Antelope Creek pipe installation

Antelope Creek pipe installation

Infrastructure Updates

A three-month project to replace 14 aging drainage pipe outfalls along Lincoln’s Antelope Creek was completed in May. The work sites stretched from 57th Street, just downstream from the Holmes Lake dam, to 26th Street, near the Sunken Gardens.

LPSNRD inspects all Antelope Creek structures (pipes) each year and Projects Coordinator Mike Murren said, “The list of pipes needing replacement had been growing over the last couple of years, so we grouped them together into a single project.” The replaced pipes were 50-60 years old. The pipes are the metal end sections of the City of Lincoln’s (City) concrete pipe storm sewer system, and they help protect homes and businesses from flooding by carrying stormwater runoff from nearby neighborhoods to the creek.

LPSNRD is responsible for maintaining the end of the pipes from the stream end to the top of the Antelope Creek bank. Whenever possible, the City and LPSNRD coordinate pipe maintenance projects.

Trail Updates
person biking on Oak Creek trail
Trail Updates

We are excited to announce the LPSNRD Oak Creek Trail is now completely open, following erosion repair projects! The second mile of the Oak Creek Trail, just west of Valparaiso had been closed since August of 2019 and was re-opened in May 2022. This portion of the trail was slightly re-located within the corridor.

Near Hickman, a portion of the Homestead Trail was closed last summer, due to severe erosion of a bridge abutment. The bridge, located between Martell Road and South 25th Street, is being replaced by a concrete box culvert. This work is nearly complete and is expected to be finished by the end of June.

The Mopac East trail will soon be getting another trailhead, located at Wabash, three miles northeast of Elmwood. The trailhead will be constructed this summer just east of 322nd Street and will include a parking area and a vault toilet.

LPSNRD tries to minimize trail closings and we appreciate the cooperation and understanding of trail users when closings are necessary.

In addition to our efforts, trail users need to constantly be aware of county road crossings, other trail users, equestrian trail users, and changing weather conditions. Always have your cell phone. Watch our Facebook posts or check for announcements.

Enjoy the trails and be safe!

Budget Input Requested
headshot of Robert Andersen
Budget Input Requested

by LPSNRD Board Treasurer Robert Andersen

The NRD has been working the past couple of months on preparations for the first draft of the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget (July 1 – June 30). The budget will direct our actions during the upcoming year for flood control, improving and protecting water quality, soil conservation, tree planting, recreation, stream stabilization, protecting our few remaining native prairies and wetlands, and operating and maintaining our many completed projects and properties.

We appreciate the input we’ve already received from the public and look forward to additional input! The earlier we receive your input the better. Please provide your comments via email to or U.S. Mail. You can also attend one of the upcoming Board meetings or public hearings listed below. The initial draft of the FY 2023 Budget is available at and I encourage you to help us refine those needs and ideas in the coming weeks.

It is important to let us know your comments as early in our budget process as possible, so we may properly implement your ideas before the final budget consideration by the Board in August. Each of our 21 Directors will be weighing the proposed budget against fiscal responsibility and it is important we have your input as soon as possible.

With your help, the Lower Platte South NRD can continue to maintain a sustainable environment through the conservation and proper management of our natural resources. 


Board of Directors Meeting - Wednesday, June 15th, 6:00 PM (start time is one hour earlier than normal)

Board of Directors Meeting - Wednesday, July 20th, 7:00 PM

Budget Public Hearing - Wednesday, August 10th, 5:30 PM

Board of Directors Meeting and final budget consideration - Wednesday, August 17th, 7:00 PM

Special hearing to set final tax levy - Wednesday, September 7, 5:30 PM

Board of Directors Meeting and consideration of Long Range Implementation Plan and tax levy rate resolution - Wednesday, September 14, 7:00 PM

Public attendance and participation are welcome at meetings of the LPSNRD Board of Directors and subcommittees of the Board. Visit for announcements about meeting status. 

Welcome Will
headshot of Will Inselman
Welcome Will

Will Inselman is our new Resources Coordinator. He is responsible for coordinating and supervising the development and management of LPSNRD-owned wildlife management, community wetland and conservation corridor properties and facilities, LPSNRD managed wetlands, and conservation easements.

Formerly the head of wildlife research for the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, Will holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Wildlife Science from South Dakota State University.

He is married, has one daughter and lives in Milford.

Summer Crew
Summer Crew

Welcome to our NRD Summer crew (Alex, Alex, Ashton, Kaitlyn, Logan, Wyatt).



These 6 will work this summer assisting us with maintenance on NRD lakes, wetlands, and trails for all of you to enjoy! In addition, they will be assisting with water sampling on our Twin Lakes project.

They are college students working towards degrees in natural resources fields.

Project Updates
Project Updates

South Salt Creek Watershed Project #6
A Master Plan grade stabilization project with the City of Lincoln to control stream channel downcutting in Wilderness Park. The work will also protect a Jamaica North Trail bridge and the former Rock Island Railroad bridge over Salt Creek, in Wilderness Park, just upstream (south) of Warlick Blvd. Project to be designed this summer.

Antelope Creek 40th to Scott Avenue
Repair of streambank damaged during heavy rain in 2015 is in the planning and land rights stages. A Federal Section 404 permit is pending. Construction could begin this fall.

Other News
Other News

The Rosa Parks Way Trail Project is now completed and open! Pedestrians and bikers along the Salt Creek Levee Trail can now begin using this new trail segment that passes under a railroad bridge adjacent to Salt Creek.

LPSNRD Staff conducted prescribed burns at multiple NRD properties this spring. Prescribed burns are done to maintain the health of the prairie and improve habitat. They prevent the buildup of dead vegetation and prevent trees, shrubs, and invasive plants from overtaking the area.

A record 42,050 seedlings were sold to 483 landowners through our Conservation Forestry program for the 2021-2022 ordering period.

Our Environmental Education programs reach 40,000 students in our NRD each year! Our fun, hands-on curriculum-based outreach teaches students the importance of conserving and protecting natural resources through a variety of our programming that includes: Classroom presentations, Field Trips, Kits in the classroom, Land Judging, Test Your Well Nights and NRD Nature Nights.