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

April 2013

In This Issue:

  1. Executive Director's Corner
  2. Nebraska Environmental Trust Announces 2013 Grants
  3. Get to know our New Board Members - Gerry Lauritzen and Henry "Rick" Brandt
  4. Upcoming Events
  5. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and find us on YouTube


Executive Director's Corner

The Trust awarded $24.2 M on April 4th, the largest amount ever in the Trust’s 20 year history.  We held grantee seminars across the State the following week to familiarize new and past recipients with grant paperwork and requirements.  Two seminars were held in Lincoln, one in Grand Island and one in North Platte.  During introductions at the seminars, all of the attendees described their projects and it was obvious the excitement and enthusiasm each possessed.

The legislative session is more than 75% completed and is scheduled to end June 5th.  Only one bill directly impacts the Trust this year.  The bill is LB 57 and it was prioritized by Senator Larson.  The Trust board was originally neutral, but changed its position to opposition at the April 4, 2013, board meeting.  The bill is currently on Select File awaiting second round debate.

We participated in three separate Earth Day events and had an opportunity to visit with a lot of people.  It was gratifying the number of people that stopped by our booth and thanked us for the work we are doing. 

The weather continues to change daily, but as long as the moisture continues across most of the State, I think most will not complain too loud about the extreme temperature shifts.  Someone from the panhandle recently told me that they are just appreciative of moisture and will take even hail after what they endured last year.  It is not very often when Nebraskans welcome hail.

Let’s hope for a wet spring and hopefully no drought this summer.

Mark A. Brohman
Executive Director


Nebraska Environmental Trust Announces 2013 Grants

The board of the Nebraska Environmental Trust recently announced that 134 projects will receive $24,247,260 in lottery proceeds for natural resource work in Nebraska. Out of these, 87 were newly funded grants and 47 are carry-over projects. This is the 20th year of grants from the Trust, which has provided over $199 million dollars in lottery revenue to preserve and protect the air, water and land of our state. Some of the projects receiving funding include:

  • Metropolitan Utilities District – Driving Omaha Natural
  • Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo - Zoo Recycling Expansion
  • Lincoln-Lancaster County Health – Nebraska MEDS Disposal Program
  • Pheasants Forever, Inc.  – Grassland Improvement Program
  • Nebraska Association of Natural Resources District – Rainwater Basin Wetland Reserve Enhancement Program Special Initiative
  • Community CROPS – Growing Farmers Training Program
  • Midland Recycling – Lincoln Small Businesses Recycle

A complete listing of all approved 2013 grants can be found on the Nebraska Environmental Trust web site at www.environmentaltrust.org.


Get to Know our New Board Members

Gerry Lauritzen


The Nebraska Environmental Trust is pleased to announce that Gerry Lauritzen has been named to the board by Governor Dave Heineman in succession of Mr. John Campbell of Omaha.

Gerry Lauritzen was born in St. James, Minnesota, and moved back to Nebraska in 2006.  She currently resides in Omaha with her husband, Bruce. Gerry is the Co- Founder of the Fontenelle Forest Honorary Trustee Board and has served as a Director on the Forest Board since 2008.  Gerry has also recently been involved with the Omaha Zoo and the Nebraska Medical Center.

Bruce and Gerry Lauritzen were married August 13, 2011, four years after their spouses each died from cancer. Bruce has three children and Gerry has two. Together they enjoy 11 grandchildren. Both Bruce and Gerry lead very active civic lives in Nebraska and enjoy hobbies, including, golf, skiing, hunting and travel. 

Mark Brohman, Executive Director of the Trust said, “We are excited to have Ms Lauritzen join us and bring her broad interests and talents to the board.” 


Henry "Rick" Brandt


Also named to the Board is Henry "Rick" Brandt replacing Mr. Vincent Kramper of Dakota City. Mr. Brandt was born in Beatrice and was raised on a farm by his parents Henry and Lorene. He has been the CEO of Brandt Excavating since 1993.

Rick has a degree in Music and a minor in Wildlife Management, and a Post Graduate degree in Music Performance from Hartford Conn. and New York City. For seven years, he held the position of Chairman for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for Nebraska. He is a contributor and supporter of Ducks Unlimited, White Tails and the Turkey Federation. He and his wife Sharon have worked on many projects for the Nebraska Game and Parks in land purchases, easements and big game monitoring.

His passion is riding his mule, Trax, tracking sheep at Fort Robinson in North West Nebraska and riding the Yellowstone country with his wife Sharon.

Mark Brohman, Executive Director of the Trust said, “We are pleased to have Mr. Brandt join the board and bring his knowledge and love of the outdoors.” 

The Trust Board is comprised of 14 members representing the State of Nebraska and its citizens. Nine citizen representatives are appointed by the Governor to serve six year terms. Three representatives are chosen from each congressional district, serve without pay and represent a wide variety of natural resource interests. Five agency directors make up the remaining seats on the board to provide coordination with existing state resources. A staff of five handles the day-to-day activities of the organization.


Upcoming Events

- May 7, 2013 (Tuesday) - Nebraska Children's Groundwater Festival, Central Community College and College Park, Grand Island

- May 17-19, 2013 (Friday - Sunday) - Spring Into Spring Festival - Lauritzen Gardens

-July 17 - 18, 2013 (Thursday/Friday) - 3rd Quarter Board Meeting, Location:Super 8 Motel, Holdredge.


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