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


November 2011

In This Issue:

  1. Executive Director Corner
  2. Restoration of Iron Horse Trail Lake in Pawnee County
  3. Experience the Splendor of Christmas at the Ferguson House
  4. New Addition to Trust Staff! Welcome Kacey!
  5. Upcoming Events
  6. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and find us on YouTube


Executive Director Corner

The 2012 grant cycle is underway and the Grants Committee has begun meeting and scoring the 93 projects for funding in 2012.  The board met for its fourth quarter meeting on November 8th and all 14 board members were present. 

We want to welcome our newest staff member, Kacey Nelkin Pedersen.  We obtained Kacey from the Secretary of State's office for a future first round draft pick and two minor league players to be named later (just kidding).  Kacey is a native Nebraskan growing up in North Platte. Stop in and meet Kacey if you get a chance.

The Ferguson House is hosting several holiday parties and events over the next few weeks and we welcome the rental income to help with upkeep of the building.  If you have a need for a site in Lincoln to host an event for business or pleasure, don't forget about the Ferguson House.  We host everything from small weddings, holiday parties, family reunions, meetings, graduation parties to anniversaries and birthdays.  Stop by our free open house on Sunday, December 11th at the Ferguson House and enjoy a tour and refreshments. 

Both the Husker football and volleyball teams have experienced some highs and lows lately, but we'll hope for the best for both of them as the seasons wind down.  Recent events remind us that college sports can be a conduit for life and can provide learning lessons for all of us.

Mark A. Brohman
Executive Director


Restoration of Iron Horse Trail Lake in Pawnee County by Scott Nelson, Nemaha Natural Resources District

Restoration of Iron Horse Trail Lake in Pawnee County was completed in June of 2011 at a cost of 2.1 million dollars.  The project involved the construction of a main sediment basin and the removal of 400,000 cubic yards of accumulated sediment.  Additional components included the construction of numerous jetties, angler access points, a handicap accessible fishing pier and fish habitat improvements.

As Iron Horse Trail Lake has always been a popular fishing lake in southeast Nebraska, a goal of the Nemaha NRD along with restoring the lake, was to create a family friendly facility that would attract campers and anglers alike.  Upon securing aquatic habit funds ($685,000) and sport fish restoration funds ($515,000) from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and EPA 319 funds from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality ($829,000), the Nemaha NRD agreed to contribute up to $100,000 towards restoration efforts.

With restoration of the lake well underway, the Nemaha NRD determined that in order to attract more park users, amenities such as electrical RV hookups, beach improvements, hiking and biking trails and a new non-electric camping area were needed.  The District faced a dilemma, grant funding was exhausted and financial commitments on other projects did not allow the NRD to budget additional money for work at Iron Horse, so how would the proposed amenities get constructed?  The Nemaha NRD came up with a creative solution by applying for and being awarded a one-year grant from NET ($46,500) to help offset a portion of the NRD’s share of lake restoration costs, which allowed District funds to be used for park upgrades.  With the final piece of the funding puzzle in place the lake restoration work and amenities were completed and the public now can enjoy one of the best multi-purpose recreational facilities in southeast Nebraska.



Aerial view of Iron Horse Trail Lake


Experience the Splendor of Christmas at the Ferguson House this December



The Ferguson House, located at 700 South 16th

Date: December 11, 2011 (Sunday) - Free Admission

Time: 1:00 pm - 5:00pm

Built between 1909 and 1911, the Ferguson House is a treasure of Nebraska's past and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built by William Henry Ferguson in downtown Lincoln, across from the Nebraska State Capitol. The house was built and decorated in Georgian Revival style, very elegant with clean lines in contrast to the heavily decorated Victorian style.

The State of Nebraska became the owner of the house in 1961, though Mrs Ferguson resided there until her death in 1972 at the age of 103. Today, the Ferguson House is managed by the Nebraska Environmental Trust and can be rented for meetings and events. Those interested in a tour of the Ferguson House are more than welcome to join us December 11, 2011 at the Ferguson House. You may also visit the Historic Kennard House next door which will also be open for tours.


New Addition to Trust Staff! Welcome Kacey!

The Trust Office has a new addition. We would like to welcome Kacey Nelkin Pedersen as the new Grants Assistant and Events Coordinator of the Ferguson House.


Kacey joined the team on November 7, 2011. She graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2003 and worked with the Secretary of States's office for five years before joining the Trust. She lives in Lincoln with her husband, Adam and son, Max. She is also a native of North Platte. Kacey enjoys spending her summers exploring the outdoors, especially canoeing down the Niobrara River.


Upcoming Events

- December 8, 2011 - Eastern Red Cedar Utlization Event, Santee Sioux Reservation, 9:30am (see below)


- December 11, 2011 - Christmas Open House at the Ferguson House, 1:00 pm - 5:00pm.

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