Bow Creek Watershed Project Implementation and Education Incentive Program

Purpose: To decrease non-point source pollution in Bow Creek with the adoption of best management practices. 


  • Producers interested in adopting best management practices including, but not limited to, nutrient management, cover crops, no-till farming, CRP, riparian buffers, grazing management plans or livestock exclusion should contact Bow Creek Watershed Coordinator Becky Ravenkamp.  Producers will receive consultation and referral to the appropriate NRCS / FSA program. 
  • Once producers have a contract approved  with NRCS or FSA, they will apply to Lewis & Clark NRD using the simple Bow Creek Program Application. 
  • Approved Bow Creek Incentive Applications will receive:
    • An implementation payment to help implement the practice, paid at the beginning of the contract.
    • An education payment, paid once the practice has successfully been implemented, and the producer has attended an approved educational event(s) to learn more about the benefits of the practice's long-term adoption. Producers have one year from time of application approval to attend an approved educational event(s) (equaling 6 contact hours) to receive education payment. 

Down load the applicaiton and guidelines: 

Bow Creek Program Guidelines.pdf

 Bow Creek Program Applicaiton

Lewis & Clark NRD Programs

Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation Program (NSWCP)

The Lewis & Clark Natural Resources District (LCNRD) in cooperation with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) administers the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation Program (NSWCP). An annual appropriation of over $100,000 is available through the program for qualifying conservation practices within LCNRD. This program may also be partnered with Bow Creek Watershed incentive payments for additional producer support as appropriate. For more details visit the Cost Share Program page under Conservation


Lewis & Clark NRD Cover Crop Program

The Lewis & Clark NRD offers a Cover Crop Cost Share Incentive Program to encourage producers to utilize cover crop options for up to 3 years with no-till systems. Applications are limited to first time participants who may enroll up to three consecutive years on a single field up to 80 acres in size. The program enables the producer to take the next steps towards overall soil health. Conservation practices like no-till and cover crops work in conjunction with one another to improve and sustain good soil health. Cover crops also increase the capacity of capturing, recycling, and redistributing nutrients such as nitrogen.

The Lewis & Clark NRD Cover Crop Program compliments the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) EQIP Program requirements by offering simple criteria for applicants who would otherwise not try cover crops. Cooperators should consult with their agronomist for seed mix alternatives that meet NRCS Cover Crop Worksheet 7 specifications to be eligible for payment. For more details visit the Lewis & Clark NRD. 

Northeast Nebraska Small Grains Incentive Program

Small Grains Incentive Program

The Lewis & Clark Natural Resources District (LCNRD) and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) are working together to provide producers in the LCNRD a financial incentive to plant small grains.This program may be paired with Bow Creek Incentive Payments to increase financial assistance to producers. 

Read the details on the LCNRD Cost Share Page.


Nebraska Buffer Strip Program

The Nebraska Buffer Strip Program is designed to filter agri-chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides from cropland adjacent to perennial and seasonal streams, ponds, and wetlands. Buffers provide an area to slow down water from rain events allowing suspended sediment and chemicals to drop out before reaching surface water bodies. Landowners are paid to enroll existing cropland (in annual crops or legumes as part of a rotation) adjacent to perennial and seasonal streams, ponds and wetlands into the buffer strip program. The funds used to pay landowners are collected from fees assessed on sales of registered pesticides.


Two types of buffers are eligible; filter strips, which are narrow strips of grass planted along water bodies, and riparian forest buffers. which consist of grass, trees and shrubs and also adjacent to water bodies. The minimum and maximum eligible width for filter strips is 20 and 120 feet respectively. The minimum and maximum eligible width for riparian buffers is 55 and 180 feet respectively. Rental rates are variable and payments cannot exceed $250 per acre.


The Department of Agriculture’s Buffer Program has fewer restrictions for haying and grazing than with some USDA conservation rental programs. This can be an enticing benefit for landowners with cattle operations. The program can also be used in conjunction with the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) if desired. More information is available on Nebraska’s Department of Agriculture’s website at

Bow Creek Septic System Program

Failing or poorly designed septic systems that dump raw sewage on top of the ground or directly into waterways, contribute to the load of E. coli in Bow Creek. 

Homeowners with failing or inadequate septic systems within the Bow Creek Watershed priority area may be eligible for funding to upgrade, repair, or replace the septic system.

  • Homeowners are responsible for costs associated with upgrades from the home to the septic tank. Costs associated with tank and leach field upgrades are eligible for cost share.  
  • New septic systems that are required as part of new construction are not eligible. Septic systems that are grandfathered in with new construction on previous homesteads will be considered on a case by case basis. 
  • The program will pay up to 90% of the cost of upgrade, repair, or replacement, not to exceed $3,000.

Proof of implementation (with final inspection by State of Nebraska) and receipts must be received before payment is issued. Work completed prior to application approval cannot be reimbursed. An approval letter will be sent indicating the earliest start date for work. Any work performed prior to the start date will not be reimbursed. Application is not guaranteed for approval. Limited funds are available.

Septic System Upgrade Application

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