City of Lincoln
2005 Media Releases
Mayor Coleen J. Seng announced today that the Nebraska Environmental Trust is providing $823,000 in grants this year for the Eastern Saline Wetlands Project, the Holmes Lake Restoration Project and the Pioneers Park Prairie Project. The Trust is funded by proceeds of the Nebraska Lottery and private donations. This year, it is awarding more than $9 million to 72 projects.
“The Nebraska Environmental Trust is a great partner in these important environmental projects in our community,” said Mayor Seng. “We appreciate the continued support for these efforts that the City is unable to fund on its own.”
The Eastern Saline Wetlands Project is receiving $400,000 for the first year of a new $800,000 three-year grant. The Trust previously provided $750,000 over three years for the project. The project is preserving and protecting the most imperiled natural community in Nebraska, which is located primarily in the Salt Creek watershed in northern Lancaster and southern Saunders counties. It is home to two endangered species as well as other rare fauna and flora. The grant will fund acquisition, restoration and the purchase of easements in cooperation with local landowners. The land acquired or protected by conservation easements also will provide flood control and water quality protection. The City is partnering in this project with Lancaster County, the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, USDA – Natural Resources and Conservation Service, the Home Builders Association of Lincoln, The Nature Conservancy and the Wachiska Audubon Society.
The Holmes Lake Restoration Project will receive $220,000 for the third year of a $620,000 three-year grant. The project is the largest urban aquatic habitat rehabilitation project ever undertaken in the state. About 400,000 cubic yards of sediment have been removed from the Lincoln lake to restore it to its original 1962 depths. The project includes shoreline protection, drainage improvements, in-lake and off-site wetlands and other measures to protect the lake from pollutants. Upgrading the water quality of the lake will allow for the restoration of more diverse fish and plant populations. In addition to the City of Lincoln, other funders of the project are the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
The Pioneers Park Prairie Project will receive $203,000 for the second year of a $380,000 two-year grant. The project will nurture, rehabilitate and maintain a 552-acre native prairie inside the Lincoln park. The grant will be used to purchase 228 acres of grasslands. About 60 percent of those grasslands are unbroken prairie. The prairie will be incorporated into programming at the Pioneers Park Nature Center, which presents natural history hikes to more than 12,000 students each year. The City’s partners in this project are Lancaster County, the Friends of the Pioneers Park Nature Center, the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation, the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District and Lincoln Cares.
The Nebraska Environmental Trust has provided grants to 790 projects across the state since it was created by the Nebraska Legislature in 1992. Citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs.