A Monthly Publication of the Nebraska Environmental Trust

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Dave Heineman, Governor

Board of Trustees

District I
District II
District III

Agency Directors

Trust Staff

 

June 2011

In This Issue:

  1. Executive Director Corner
  2. Second Quarter 2011 Public Information and Education Grants
  3. Ducks Unlimited has Family Day at Verona Complex
  4. Recycling on the Go! by Second Nature Public Recycling
  5. 2011 Environmental Leadership Awards for the Trust
  6. Upcoming Events

 

Executive Director Corner

Summer has finally arrived and we are all wondering what kind of summer it will be.  For the most part, Nebraska has been spared the devastating tornadoes that have struck the south so hard.  Major tornadoes have hit as close as Iowa and the massive destruction in Joplin, Missouri, reminds us of the Hallam tornado near Lincoln not that long ago.  I have witnessed firsthand the flooding along the Missouri River and on the Platte River around North Platte and Gering this spring and it appears it will continue through the summer and into the fall.  Snow was still falling in the Rockies and we may not have seen the worst Mother Nature has to dish out.  Levees have given too many people a false sense of security for too long.  These rivers have flooded for many generations before man began to build dams and levees.  On the geological clock, man has occupied but a second or two.

The Trust Grants Committee is recommending additional funds to be added to a number of projects that were not fully funded in April and to partially fund a project (Egan Lake) that was not funded originally.  The additional funds came from projects that had finished and had unexpended funds.  The full board will consider those recommendations at the July board meeting and make final awards.

It is a relief that the Nebraska Unicameral has adjourned for the year and will not meet again until next year.  The Trust will participate in a couple of legislative interim studies taking place this summer and fall.  

Take some time this summer to get out and see some of Nebraska’s wonders.  From the Wildcat Hills and Chimney Rock, Fort Robinson and Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, canoeing the Niobrara River and visiting Smith Falls, Ash Fall Fossil Beds, Arbor Lodge and so much more.  There is a State Park, National Monument, Recreational Area, Historical Park or Wildlife Management Area near you.  We may not have mountains or an ocean, but there is plenty to see and do in Nebraska.  Have a safe and enjoyable summer.

Mark A. Brohman
Executive Director

 

Second Quarter 2011 Public Information and Education Grants

The Nebraska Academy of Sciences, Inc. received eight applications totaling $20,360 for the second quarter 2011 Public Information and Education Mini-grants funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust. 

Grant applications were submitted by: 
Sara Cooper, Academic Advisor-Environmental Studies – Garden Thesis Group Community Gardens; Sara Cooper – SustaiNu; Keep Omaha Beautiful – Native Grass Restoration; Grand Island Clean Community System – Recycling /Waste Reduction at Husker Harvest Days 2011; Children and Nature in Our Parks – Transporting Our Children Into the Out-of-Doors; WasteCap Nebraska, INC. – The Business Case for Sustainability; Nebraska Game and Parks Commission – Western Nebraska Park Naturalist Program Expansion; and Panhandle Research Integration for Discovery Education Weed Management Area – Scotch Thistle and Houndstongue Demonstration Plots and Education.
 
Applications were reviewed at the PIE review meeting on May 12th, 2011 and recommendations to fully fund four grants were forwarded to the Nebraska Academy of Sciences Executive Committee.  Final approval of four grants was discussed at the NAS Executive Committee meeting on June 4th and following confirmation by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, grant recipients were notified in mid June.  A total of $8,780 was awarded for the second quarter of 2011.

Grants were awarded to Sara Cooper, Academic Advisor-Environmental Studies – Garden Thesis Group Community Gardens, $780; Children and Nature in Our Parks – Transporting Our Children Into the Out-of-Doors, $3,000; Nebraska Game and Parks Commission – Western Nebraska Park Naturalist Program Expansion, $3,000; and Panhandle Research Integration for Discovery Education Weed Management Area – Scotch Thistle and Houndstongue Demonstration Plots and Education, $2,000.

 

Ducks Unlimited has Family Day at Verona Complex

Ducks Unlimited, in collaboration with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission held its second annual open house at the Verona Complex, located between county Roads Q and S, on Road 315 in Clay County recently.

Tim Horst, the Nebraska Lands Manager for Ducks Unlimited said, “We really targeted and reached out to the kids and entire families this year. It is our hope to share the outdoor experience with kids and their families, let them know what grows, lives and calls the wetland areas of Nebraska, home.”

The Open House hosted by Ducks Unlimited brought nearly 100 kids and their families a taste of nature and wild places in the wetlands. Visitors were able to see plant life, study the grasslands and get the full feel of life and understanding of habitat and biology, as well as ecology of life in wetland areas through-out the state of Nebraska.

touring

Game and Parks biologist, ecologist and specialist were on hand with Ducks Unlimited staff to help educate and teach visitors the importance of the rainwater basin areas. Some of the stations set-up were an animal and plant identification station as well as grassland ecology tours, a BB-gun range, hunter safety station and a demonstration with dogs and how they work in the wild.

Other activities included canoeing and john boat rides, lessons about duck food, waterfowl biology, as well as rides on tractors and ATV mules to a prairie dog town. “It was just a way for us to reach out to families, and promote a better understanding of wild places”, added Horst.

 

Recycling on The Go! by Second Nature Public Recycling

The Trust awarded Second Nature Recycling for "Recycling on the Go!' program with $90,000 and the impact of the program can already be seen all over Lincoln and Omaha.

To date, they have placed the containers at 10 events. These include the following: Earth day;Midtown Market; Rock'n Yoga in the Park (Also in midtown);Westgate Baseball fields; LaVista Days; the spring game at Memorial Stadium; the Mayor's run; Taste of Omaha; the State track meet and the 2011 Cattleman's Ball in West Point, NE.

recycling

These events have been attended by over 195,000 people. Each event has requested the service be provided next year and the sponsors have also received some referrals for other events. They anticipate doing at least 25 events through September. The most recent event was the public transportation route for the College World Series. They had at least 20 of the recycling containers for the entire tournament. The sponsors hope to expand the program next year, and have been pleased with the response and gratitude of our customers thus far.

 

2011 Environmental Leadership Awards for the Trust

 

award

The Trust was recently awarded the 2011 Environmental Leadership Award for the Government Category.

The 2011 Lincoln-Lancaster County Environmental Leadership Award Recipients were:

Business and Industry – ServiceMaster Professional Building Maintenance of Lincoln

Agriculture - Walt Bagley, Prairie Pines

Community Organization - Marcia Mueting, Pharm.D., R.P., Nebraska MEDS (Medication Education and Disposal Strategies)

Government - Nebraska Environmental Trust

Education -  Bob Kuzelka

Individual Citizens - Adam Hintz, Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso; and Marilyn McNabb

 

Upcoming Events

- July 21-22, 2011 - Nebraska Environmental Trust 3rd Quarter Board Meeting, Omaha.

- August 20, 2011 - World O' Water Festival, Omaha, Papio Missouri River, Natural Resources District

- August 26 - September 5, 2011 - Nebraska State Fair, Grand Island.

- September 13-15, 2011 - Husker Harvest Days

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