Sandhills Interactive Natural Resource Educational Complex (SINREC) NET 21-150 Grant Press Release

Middle Niobrara NRD Receives Grant from

Nebraska Environmental Trust

Lincoln, NE – May 1, 2021 – Middle Niobrara NRD announced today that it will receive $288,015 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the “Sandhills Interactive Natural Resources Education Complex (SINREC)” project. The Trust Board announced funding for the project at its meeting on April 8, 2021 in Lincoln. This is the first year of award with a potential for 2nd and 3rd year funding totaling $154,000 and $158,000, respectively. The project is one of the 113 projects receiving $18,350,515 in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust this year. Of these, 42 were new applications and 71 are carry-over projects.

The Middle Niobrara NRD is providing one acre of our complex to utilize a 121’ fully operational center pivot irrigation system donated by Lindsay. An additional two acres will be transformed to include an advanced classroom and outdoor training resources. Utilization of this irrigation system, along with multiple monitoring wells will allow for extensive data collection and water resource training. Water use efficiency and management will be demonstrated through soil moisture probes, new pivot and weather technology, and multiple demonstrative flow meters. A full chemigation set up provides advanced education to landowners, NRDs, and agency employees. A variety of Best Management Practices located within the educational center will showcase current practices and trial concepts to be researched and promoted. This progressive training center will simulate and prepare individuals for issues they might see at any one of the nearly 100,000 registered irrigation wells in Nebraska. A modern interpretive indoor classroom will hold trainings and educational opportunities for youth groups, the general public, government agencies, and NRD’s from across Nebraska. Real, hands on experience to contribute to a classroom setting will address each of the three learning styles to provide a higher quality form of education and a more complete training.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $349 million in grants to over 2,400 projects across the state. Anyone – citizens, organizations, communities, farmers, and businesses – can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect, and restore our natural resources for future generations.