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 2014

In This Issue:

  1. Executive Director Corner
  2. 2014 Summary of Public Information and Education Grants
  3. Loup Basin RC & D, Pollination = Preservation
  4. Upcoming Events

 

Executive Director Corner

Summer has arrived according to the calendar.  Who knows what Mother Nature has in store for us this summer?  Will it be another drought, will we get adequate rains or will we get too much rain.  The meteorologists are saying this has been one of the worst springs for hail and tornadoes in the State’s history.  Let’s hope we have seen the last of both hail and tornadoes. 

I have witnessed two tornadoes in my lifetime from about a mile away and I know I didn’t want to be any closer.  The raw power of a tornado is unbelievable as seen in recent news footage.  With everyone having cell phones with cameras and video capabilities today, there have been some awesome pictures and videos of the last few tornadoes, including the double tornado at Pilger.  The Trust sends its deepest sympathy to those who have felt the wrath of hail or tornadoes this year.

We are planning our summer board meeting out West.  The two day meeting will be held at the North Platte Natural Resources District (NRD) office at 100547 Airport Road just north of Scottsbluff.  Thursday morning, July 17th we will tour some of the projects we have funded in the area and that afternoon and the next morning, we’ll meet at the NRD’s board room.

Here’s to adequate rain, favorable growing conditions and lots of blooming wild flowers.

Mark A. Brohman
Executive Director

 

2014 Summary of Public Information and Education Grants

The Nebraska Academy of Sciences (NAS) received five applications for the first quarter 2014 PIE minigrant program.  Applications were received from Loup Basin Conservation and Development, 2014 Loup Basin Recycling Guide; the Middle Niobrara NRD, Nitrate Education: “Test Your Well” Night; Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center, Expanding Diversity and Community Engagement; The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska, Platte River Prairies Field Days; and Community Crops, Local Food Outreach Program.  All five grant applications were funded.

In early April the Nebraska Environmental Trust announced the 2014 grant awardees.  The Nebraska Academy of Sciences was awarded a three-year grant to continue administering the Nebraska Environmental Public Information and Education Minigrant Program.  The Academy is pleased and honored to once again administer this program for the next three years.

A large number of applications (24) were received for the April 4th, 2014 deadline. Applications were received from Keep Omaha Beautiful, Inc. - Rain Barrels for Community Gardens; Nebraska Game and Parks Commission - Park Naturalist Program Expansion in Western NE; Omaha Schools Foundation - Growing Flora of Nebraska Pollinators; Bancroft Elementary Zoo/Omaha HDZ - Bancroft Pocket Garden Project; A. Jewell Schock Museum of Natural History, WSC - Habitat and Stream Monitoring of Dog Creek: A Community Collaboration; Board of Regents/UNL - Running Rain: Keep it Clean! Slow it Down! Soak it In!; No More Empty Pots -  2014 Food Waste Summit: Managing Organics; Ed George - Soil Project for Nebraska Science Teachers; Lincoln Community Foundation - Southern Heights Food Forest Pollinator Garden; Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo - Growing Young Naturalists: developing Environmental Stewardship Thru Nature Exploration, Discovery, and Play; WasteCap Nebraska, Inc. - 2014 Sustainability Summit: Zero Waste Roadmap; Groundwater Foundation - Education the Next Generation of Water1ders; Trinity Infant & Child Care Center - Advancing Conservation Education Through Outdoor Classroom Expansion; Kregel Windmill Factory Museum - Wind Energy: Understanding the Past, Envisioning the Future; The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska -  The Prairie Ecologist Blog; Adrian Olivera - Natural Nebraska; Board of Regents/UNL - Campus Green Team Pilot Program; WasteCap Nebraska, INC. - Online Recycling Guide; Fontenelle Forest - Technology, Communities, and Conservation; Board of Regents/UNL – NaturePalooza; Children and Nature in Our Parks - Place-Based Habitat and Water Conservation Through Education; Riverside Discovery Center - Recycle!; Tri-Basin NRD, et. al. - Water Jamboree; and PRIDE Weed Management Area - Yellow Flag Iris Research and Education Project.

Third quarter 2014 applications are due July 11th, 2014. 

Grant forms and information can be found on our website, www.neacadsci.org.  Click on NAS and then click on Grants and Scholarships. 

 

Loup Basin RC & D, Pollination = Preservation

Butterfly, bee and bat houses are showing up in communities along the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway. Thirteen butterfly houses have been donated and will be painted by students at one of the classes for the community of Comstock’s “5th Comstock Art In” day that will be held on Saturday June 21st.  The pollinator houses are spreading the word about the Pollination = Preservation project that is providing technical assistance and subsidized plant materials so community members can develop or enhance their butterfly – pollinator garden, therefore increasing and sustaining pollinator populations. The Community of Ord hosted the Pollination = Preservation project Pollinator Week June 16-22 celebrations on Thursday June 19, 2014. Pollination = Preservation, garden workshops have been hosted at Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park near Elyria, Happy Jack Chalk Mine near Scotia, Bartlett, Burwell, Comstock, Elba, Loup City, North Loup, and Taylor this past year. 
Members of the Loup Basin Resource Conservation and Development Council(RC&D) are assisting the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway to develop fifteen Certified Butterfly Gardens, bringing attention to the project that will result in an increase in pollinator populations and improved habitat for wildlife along the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway. The Pollination = Preservation project along the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway will attract tourists who will also learn the importance of pollinators and their role in the ecosystem.    

For more information about the community members that have developed a Certified Butterfly Garden along the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway visit the Loup Basin RC&D Council’s website at http://www.loupbasinrcd.org/

butterflyhouse

Examples of Pollinator Houses

Upcoming Events

- July 17-18, 2014 (Thursday- Friday) - 3rd Quarter Board Meeting, Scottsbluff at North Platte Natural Recources District Office.

- August 22, September 1, 2014 - Nebraska State Fair, Grand Island

- September 2, 2014 (Tuesday)- General and Recognition Grant Application Deadline

- September 9-11, 2014 (Tuesday - Thursday) - Husker Harvest Days, Grand Island

- November 6, 2014 (Thursday) - 4th Quarter Board Meeting, Ferguson House, Lincoln

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