A Monthly Publication of the Nebraska Environmental Trust

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Pete Ricketts, Governor

Board of Trustees

District I
District II
District III

Agency Directors

Trust Staff


December 2015


In this Issue:


1. Executive Director Corner

2. 2015 Public Information and Education Grant Report

3. Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) installs EV - ChargePoint™ at the Ferguson House

4. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Trust Staff


Executive Director Corner

Happy Holidays!  Where did 2015 go?  We had about 125 people attend our Holiday Open House at the Ferguson House on December 6th.  We always enjoy sharing the house and the history of the Ferguson family with visitors.

The Grants Committee continues meeting and ranking grants and will present those rankings in mid-January.  The next board meeting will be February 4, 2015, at 1:30 at the Ferguson House and the board can accept or reject that recommendation list.

The Lady Huskers have brought home a National Championship in volleyball.  Many folks thought it was another rebuilding year and with the Big 10 being so competitive, many fans were just hoping for a good showing and to get through the first round of the playoffs.  What made the win especially satisfying was the finals were held in Omaha and the team we beat for all the marbles was Texas.  I think things are looking good for next year for the Lady Huskers because we have a young team.  As a bonus, we set the attendance record for a collegiate volleyball game the first round of the Final Four and then broke that record two days later when 17,561 were on hand for the championship game.

Husker football was a real rollercoaster this year, but you didn’t dare leave a game early or leave the room with any time on the clock with so many games being decided in the last seconds.  Surprisingly we received a decent bowl against an 8-4 UCLA after we finished 5-7.  The Foster Farms Bowl is being held the day after Christmas on ESPN in the evening.  A pretty good time slot if you ask me and it should help in future recruiting if we can have a good showing. 

Have a Wonderful Holiday Season and a Great 2016!

Mark A. Brohman
Executive Director



2015 Public Information and Education Grant Report

This year marks the sixth full year that the Nebraska Academy of Sciences (NAS) has administered the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) Public Information and Education mini-grant program. The first grants that the Academy reviewed were submitted in the fourth quarter of 2009 and were awarded in 2010. Since then NAS has reviewed and awarded over $240,000 to numerous recipients all across the state.

In calendar year 2015 NAS received a total of 36 grant applications and a total request of $91,314. Almost $42,000 has been awarded to date and the fourth quarter award is yet to be determined. Grant applications for the first quarter of 2016 will be accepted until January 8, 2016.

This past year NAS received applications for numerous types of projects; recycling guides, garden greenhouses and garden projects, many different types of water quality and conservation projects, as well as habitat and environmental education and improvement projects. Grants were awarded to a few research projects and quite a number of grants were given to entities for conference or meeting support in order to bring in special speakers, publish educational materials, or provide activities to help attendees understand environmental concepts. Awards were granted to school groups, private foundations, individuals and government entities such as Natural Resource Districts and city and county governments.

These projects all promise to improve our environment, increase education in environmental areas and touch many of our Nebraska citizens in meaningful ways. Here are just a few grants submitted in 2015:

Nebraska Farmers Union – Vermi-Composting Education
Nebraska State Fair – Recycle Informational Signage
Rainwater Basin Joint Venture – Omaha Youth Path to Passive Solar
Groundwater Foundation – Education for the Next Generation of Water1ders
Tri-Basin NRD – Water Jamboree
Omaha Children's Museum – Maker Faire

One of the guidelines NAS reviewers use in evaluating grant applications is how many people are reached with the limited funds available and how easy it would be for other groups to use the same materials or process to reach an even wider audience. The groups mentioned do an excellent job of making the best use of grant funds in reaching the widest audience.

For more information on PIE Grants, contact:

Cecelia Dorn
Executive Secretary
Nebraska Academy of Sciences, INC.
302 Morrill Hall, 14th and U Streets
Lincoln, NE 68588-0339
402-472-2644 voice
402-472-8899 fax


Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) installs EV - ChargePoint™ at the Ferguson House

The Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) recently installed a ChargePoint™ electric vehicle charging station at its office at the Ferguson House, located at 700 South 16th in Lincoln on December 9.

“We wanted an electric vehicle charging station located at our joint Nebraska Environmental Trust and Nebraska Community Energy Alliance parking lot for our members and guests to use and to help increase awareness of the savings available from the new advanced technologies that are already here,” said Lowell Johnson, NCEA President.

Mark Brohman, Executive Director for the Nebraska Environmental Trust said, “It is wonderful for the Nebraska Environmental Trust to have an electric vehicle charging station located at our office that offers a cleaner transportation fuel choice and provides an additional location in Lincoln for electric vehicle owners to refuel. I envision visitors to the Capitol plugging in and walking across the street and taking a tour while they charge.” 

The Ferguson House is the first state agency to offer workplace charging in Nebraska with public access to EV charging, in the same league as 3M, AAA, Adobe, Consumer Reports, Dell, Google, MasterCard, Netflix, SAP, and Microsoft, to name a few companies that offer their employees EV charging at work.

The Trust funded a grant of $403,000 that included a website to document the economic and air quality benefits of electric vehicles: www.engineering.unl.edu/e-vehicle/.  Early results indicate that each EV saved its community $900 - $1,200 annually over a comparable gas-powered vehicle in fuel and maintenance costs and reduced CO2 emissions by half of what a comparable gas-powered vehicle emits. EVs emit no pollution or smog at the exhaust pipe.


Nissan Leafs Charging at The Ferguson House


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Trust Staff

The staff the Trust would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Upcoming Events

- February 4, 2016 (Thursday), 1:30pm - 1st Quarter Board Meeting, Ferguson House, Lincoln NE.

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