NET Connects is a partnership with local non-profit, educational, governmental, and public service organizations to create NET Co-Productions that dig deeply into a wide variety of issues that are important to Nebraska. In partnership with the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD), NET Connects has put together videos each highlighting different aspects of the NRD system.
Local NRDs and NARD have also worked to put together videos showcasing different projects throughout the system.
Relatively few Nebraskans realize that natural resources are safeguarded by the unique management system of twenty-three Natural Resources Districts across the state. “Keeping Nebraska Local” explains how these districts were created, how they have evolved, and how they continue to protect lives, protect property, and protect the future for all Nebraskans. This NET Connects program is co-produced in partnership with the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts.
More videos about the NRDs can be found on the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts website.
Each year in May, University of Nebraska Cedar County Extension hosts Aquafest for 5th grade students at Wayne State College. The success of Aquafest relies on the collaboration of several agencies including Lewis & Clark NRD, Lower Elkhorn NRD, Papio-Missouri River NRD, Northeast Community College, and the University of Nebraska. Aquafest was started in 1994 by Michael Lechner who is currently an agriculture instructor at Northeast Community College.
Aquafest brings together area students to learn about Nebraska's greatest natural resource, WATER! Students learn about the effects of water pollution, how insects walk on water, they test the Laws of Physics by creating enormous bubbles, and they explore Newton’s Law by building water rockets. Aquafest provides an opportunity for students to have hands on learning and to interact with professionals in water related fields. It is important to teach our youth about water resources as water is essential to all life, not only in Nebraska but across the world.
Aquafest for 2021 has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. Plans are to hold Aquafest in May of 2022.
Wonderful World of Water (WWW)
The Wonderful World of Water (WWW) is held in the fall of every year to bring together 9th and 10th grade students as well as teachers with water resource professionals who provide information about water and other natural resources. Participating schools from the Lewis & Clark NRD, Papio-Missouri River NRD, Upper Elkhorn NRD, Lower Elkhorn NRD, and Lower Niobrara NRD gather to compete and learn through hands on activities, quizzes, and projects. Students get a first hand look at how water effects our past and present way of life.
The Wonderful World of Water program is possible through participation of natural resources professionals who volunteer their time to share their expertise with the students. Volunteers are from a variety of agencies including: The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), UNL Cooperative Extension, Nebraska Public Power District, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraska Forest Service, and the City of Pierce. The WWW is sponsored by the Lewis & Clark, Upper Elkhorn, Lower Elkhorn, Lower Niobrara, and Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources Districts.
Nebraska’s NRDs host the annual Natural Resources Camp called "Adventure Camp about the Environment!" (ACE). ACE is open to students who have completed 6th, 7th, or 8th grade and want to learn more about natural resources and have an adventure at camp. The areas campers will learn more about include: Aquatics, Forestry, Range and Grassland, Wildlife, Soils and Land. Campers will experience hands-on activities with a variety of speakers from across the state in each of the six areas, and also get a chance to explore possible careers in natural resources. ACE also includes adventure and activities for campers such as a zip-line, tanking and tubing, a campfire and many other games! ACE will be held June 6 to 9, 2021 at the State 4-H Center near Halsey. The cost of the camp is $225.00 per camper and will include meals, lodging and activities.
The Lewis & Clark Natural Resources District offers up to 4 - $100 scholarships to help with the cost for students who are interested in attending the ACE event.
More information about ACE and how to register is available on the Nebraska Associattion of Resources Districts website.
The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) coordinates an annual recognition program to provide awards to NRDs and their residents for outstanding efforts in conservation. The association cooperates with the Omaha World-Herald and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on the Master Conservationist program. Awards are presented at the NARD Annual Conference each September. The conservation awards sponsored by NARD are:
- Master Conservationist Award
- Natural Resource Educator of the Year
- Outstanding Tree Planter
- Outstanding Grassland Conservation
- Outstanding Community Conservation
- Outstanding Soil Conservation
- Outstanding Educator
- Director of the Year
- NARD Natural Resources Hall of Fame
The nomination deadline for the awards is May 1st except for the Master Conservationist Award. The deadline for the Master Conservationist Award is June 1st each year.
For more information on guidelines and nomination information visit the NARD website at https://www.nrdnet.org/news/conservation-awards or contact the LCNRD.
Arbor Day Trees for Schools
Arbor Day and Earth Day are set aside to recognize the importance of trees and other natural resources in our daily lives. In honor of Arbor Day/Earth Day the LCNRD provides seedlings and education materials about the importance of trees to students of schools located within the district.
Trees are integral to life as we know it; from the food they produce, the shade they provide, the wildlife habitat they create, and the countless products humans produce from them. Providing seedlings offers local a hands on opportunity to understand, respect, and protect trees and other natural resources. Planting and caring for a tree overtime can increase awareness of the environment around them and develop a direct connection to the environment.