A Monthly Publication of the Nebraska Environmental Trust
Dave Heineman, Governor
Board of Trustees
In This Issue:
Executive Director Corner
The Trust grant application deadline is coming up fast. Grants are due September 4th. As always, the grant deadline is the first Tuesday after Labor Day. We have received a few applications, but the bulk always comes in the last few days before the deadline.
The Nebraska State Fair is upon us and the Trust will have a booth in the Exhibition Building with the ag exhibits again. Our booth will not be manned every day, but stop by and see if one of us or a board member is there or at least pick up some information if no one is present. Before you know it, we will be out at Husker Harvest Days on September 11th – 13th. We will have a booth set up inside the Pheasants Forever and Game and Parks building. I especially encourage landowners to stop by and talk to the wildlife biologists and get some ideas for improving your habitat and exploring funding options.
Photo by Danielle Shea
For some, football season can’t get here soon enough for both high school and the Huskers. Let’s hope our second year in the Big 10 is more successful in football and the volleyball team finds a way to get to the final four.
Mark A. Brohman
(submitted by Christina Hoyt, Community Landscape Specialist, Nebraska Forest Service)
The Water Wise Landscapes Initiative is a statewide, multi-partner, three-year effort to develop model sustainable landscapes and enable partnering communities to develop the plans, tools and incentives to achieve more sustainable use of natural resources. The principal goal is to create a new landscape ideal that is not only aesthetically acceptable but also environmentally beneficial and sustainable. Through this initiative we are developing up to 20 demonstration landscapes that conserve water and reduce stormwater runoff. These landscapes emphasize regionally native plants. Projects are in fully swing across Nebraska, from a xeriscape boulevard planting in North Platte that breathed life into a blighted parkway in a residential neighborhood (planted by 45 volunteers!) to a business district revitalization project in Florence neighborhood of Omaha which will feature Omaha’s first bio-retention gardens in streetscape. Below are just a few we would like to highlight:
Bike trail @ Fireworks. Great projects often have public and private partners. This project has been funded through NET, City of Lincoln Watershed and Telesis. Inc. First implemented in 2008, this project converted 10,000 square feet of grass to a bioswale of native plants and adjacent tree plantings (Trees for Nebraska Towns grant). The project site sits on City of Lincoln land, adjacent to a bike trail and Fireworks Restaurant. Telesis, inc, who own’s Fireworks, saw that the land adjacent to them looked blighted but also was eroding from run off. They were also looking to plant trees to help offset their carbon footprint and were interested in exploring a more sustainable landscape. City of Lincoln Watershed Management was looking to clean up stormwater. NSA was looking to explore native plant pallets for these gardens and trying something that was less ‘engineered’ to control stormwater—and of course plant trees. Ultimately the three goals were to 1)manage stormwater running off the adjacent properties and erosion that was happening by creating a bioswale and 2) plant trees along the parking lot and bike trail and 3) make it visually pleasing. Designed by NSA, the initial planting of over 3,000 perennials and grasses was done by 30 Teleis, inc. volunteers. Then in 2011, through Waterwise Initiative, the bioswale was expanded to the south to capture stormwater off the roof and parking lot of a newly constructed building. This continues to be a test and demonstration garden for native and adapted plants. Telesis, Inc. maintains the site. In 2011 this garden was part of UNL Extension’s Stormwater Tour in which 60 engineers, landscape architects and researchers visited it. As the garden has grown, the amount of wildlife (insects, birds, and amphibians) that has moved into the area is amazing. Nearby residents love running, walking and strolling along it.
Fireworks Rain Garden
Downtown Rain Gardens Demonstration Project, Scottsbluff.
Bioretention Gardens and Metro Community College
- August 24 - September 3, 2012 - Nebraska State Fair, Grand Island
- August 25, 2012 (Saturday) - World O' Water Omaha, Wehrspann Lake
- September 4, 2012 (Tuesday) - General and Recognition Grant Application Deadline
- November 8, 2012 (Tuesday) - Nebraska Environmental Trust 4th Quarter Board Meeting, Ferguson House, Lincoln.
- December 9, 2012 (Sunday) - Ferguson House Christmas Open House, Lincoln. Time: TBA