Conservation Plantings

Conservation Plantings

Ready to get started? Give District Forester Kyle Yrkoski a call at 402-362-6601 or reach out at trees@upperbigblue.org.

 

Seedling Sales and Planting

Seedling Sales and Planting
Seedling Sales and Planting
Under the district’s seedling sales program, stock is provided to district patrons at the lowest possible cost. In order to assure quality stock, the seedlings are kept in a refrigerated state prior to delivery to the customer. To increase the survival rate, customers are instructed to prepare the site before planting. Following the planting, sufficient watering and proper weed control is imperative.

More details, plus ordering (November-March) at www.upperbigblue.org/trees.

> Seedlings Planted by the District

> Seedlings Planted by the District
> Seedlings Planted by the District
  1. The NRD will provide a complete tree planting service. This includes all necessary equipment, materials and labor.
  2. All trees and shrubs planted by the NRD will be ordered by the NRD. The sites are to be designed and planned by the NRCS or NRD, assisted by the customer, and submitted to the NRD.
  3. The order form to be used is the NRCS NB-Wood-1. Tree and shrub seedlings must be ordered in multiples of 25.
  4. Orders will be accepted between November 1 and March 30.
  5. Survival of the seedlings is not guaranteed.
  6. The customer will be charged for planting all trees ordered. Payment must be made by the time of planting.
  7. If 1,000 seedlings or more are ordered, 10% down will be required at the time of order. The balance must be paid before planting. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL ANY PLANTING BE DONE UNTIL THE SEEDLINGS HAVE BEEN PAID FOR IN FULL.
  8. If the NRD is to do the planting, a minimum of 150 trees or shrubs must be ordered.
  9. The NRD will make a maximum of 120 plantings or plant 35,000 seedlings per season, whichever figure is reached first. The trees will do best if the ground is plowed or deep chiseled. If the ground is in sod form, plow or chisel in the fall and disc again in the spring. All customers will be notified prior to planting. If the plots are found unprepared to plant, the seedlings will be left with the customer. Any farmstead within the Upper Big Blue NRD boundaries is eligible.
Replacement Policy

Before replacement will be considered, the following criteria must be met by the customer:
  1. Proper ground preparation - plowed, chiseled and disked
  2. Seedlings watered during hot periods
  3. Weed control
NOTE:  The district will replace seedlings if the stock is found to be in poor condition prior to planting. Planting errors will also be a consideration.
 
Replacement will not be made under the following conditions:
  1. Seedlings damaged by floods or hail
  2. Seedlings damaged by mowing or destroyed by farm equipment
  3. Seedlings planted in sod
  4. Poor ground preparation
  5. Lack of care following planting
 
Funds Available to Customers
  • NRD/ State Cost-Share: Landowners may be eligible for assistance under the district’s Land Treatment Program 
  • Federal Cost-Share: Contact your local NRCS office for information.
 
Sources of Funds 

Program costs are paid for by tree and planting sales as well as local tax revenue collected by the NRD.

> Seedlings Planted by Purchasers or the District

> Seedlings Planted by Purchasers or the District
> Seedlings Planted by Purchasers or the District
  1. Seedlings must be ordered in multiple of 25.
  2. Orders will be accepted from November 1 to April 1.
  3. Survival of the seedlings is not guaranteed.  The district will only replace seedlings if they are found to have been in poor condition prior to delivery to the customer.
  4. Payment must accompany the order.
  5. If 1,000 seedlings or more are ordered, 10% down will be required at the time of order. The balance must be paid before receipt of the seedlings, or planting of the seedlings by the district.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL ANY PLANTING BE DONE UNTIL THE SEEDLINGS HAVE BEEN PAID FOR IN FULL.

Community Tree Resources Program

Community Tree Resources Program
Community Tree Resources Program
This program offers financial assistance to communities for the development or improvement of city or village tree resources. Two levels of participation are offered. The first level (CTR-I) encourages cities and villages to develop a new tree improvement program which qualifies them for the Tree City USA designation. A higher level of district assistance is available to communities which make such a commitment.
 
A second level of assistance (CTR-II) is available to cities, villages and other public entities which have developed a specific plan for tree replacement or new plantings. A five-year plan and an annual budget for tree resources improvement are required.
 
Because this program is designed to encourage plantings which provide public benefits, funding will be approved for planting on public lands. Nursery stock recommended for use may be balled, burlapped, or potted. Bare root stock may be used if it is at least six feet tall. Permanent plantings are required. 

Seedlings for nursery plantings are available for purchase through the district’s seedling sales program.
 
Applications for either level of assistance must include a copy of the community’s tree plan and a cover letter stating the amount and purpose of the financial assistance requested. In addition, a commitment is required that the applicant will maintain all plantings funded by the district for a minimum of five years.
 

> Community Tree Resources Program--CTR-I

> Community Tree Resources Program--CTR-I
> Community Tree Resources Program--CTR-I
This program is designed to encourage planned, long-term plantings where trees and shrubs are not presently growing.
 
Eligibility
  1. The city or village must establish a legally constituted tree board that has the responsibility of public tree resource management.
  2. The city or village must have a current tree ordinance.
  3. The city or village must develop a community tree plan that includes:
    • A current inventory and assessment of publicly owned trees 
    • A summary of accomplishments of the last five years and detailing of goals of the current tree plan 
    • A five-year master plan and a one-year detailed plan for tree planting, removal and maintenance, including pruning 
    • A proposed annual budget of estimated costs and detailed description of how the community  plans to meet the commitments of the tree plan 
  4. The city or village must have the community tree plan approved by the University of Nebraska District Extension Forester.  
  5. Eligible plantings of trees and shrubs include plantings:
    • Along city streets and right-of-ways
    • On city-owned property
    • In new or expanded city parks or other publicly-owned areas 
Funds Available
The district will provide a 50% matching grant on a per capita basis. The maximum assistance will be $1 per capita up to $5,000 with a minimum assistance of $200. Funding is based on the type and quality of the project and the number of times that the community has received CTR funds. The amount of district funds available is dependent on the annual budget.

> Community Tree Resources Program--CTR-II

> Community Tree Resources Program--CTR-II
> Community Tree Resources Program--CTR-II
This program is designed to encourage replacement plantings of trees and shrubs.
 
Eligibility
  1. The city, village or public entity must submit a work plan for tree planting. Guidance from the University of Nebraska District Extension Forester is recommended. The plan must include:
    • A list of the trees and shrubs and number to be planted 
    • A map showing where trees will be placed 
    • A timetable for completion of the project 
    • An estimate of the total project cost 
  2. The city, village or public entity must sign an agreement stating that it will maintain the plantings for a minimum of five years.
  3. The city, village or public entity must agree to match funds provided by the district. 
Funds Available
The district will provide a 50% matching grant with a maximum of $1,000 and a minimum of $200. Funding is based on the type and quality of the project. The amount of district funding available is dependent on the annual budget.

Community Native Grass Resources Program

Community Native Grass Resources Program
Community Native Grass Resources Program
This program offers financial assistance to communities to develop or improve city or village properties where the establishment of native grass would be beneficial.  Such areas may include, but are not limited to lands surrounding wastewater treatment lagoons, lands within a Wellhead Protection Area, and areas suitable for wildlife habitat improvement.
 
Eligibility
  1. The city, village or public entity must submit a work plan for native grass planting.  Guidance from district staff is recommended.  The plan must include:
    • The number of acres to be planted
    • The native grass seeding mixture to be used
    • A map showing where planting is to be located
    • A timetable for completion of the project
    • An estimate of the total project cost
  2. The city, village or public entity must sign an agreement stating that it will maintain the planting for a minimum of five years.
  3. The city, village or public entity must agree to match funds provided by the district.
Funds Available

The district will matching 50% of the local share of the project cost with a maximum of $1,000 and a minimum of $200.  Funding is based on the type and quality of the project.  The amount of district funding available is dependent on the annual budget.

Parks Program

Parks Program
Parks Program
The parks program offers financial assistance to communities for the development or improvement of natural resources in nature areas, campgrounds and park facilities. This program is available for any city, town, county or school located in the district. The district is not considered the lead agency in park development, but will assist in the funding. 
 
The district will consider—on a case by case basis—providing cities and villages with planning and financial assistance for multiuse parks and recreation improvement /development that encourages tree planting, creation of wildlife habitat, open spaces and other enhancements of natural resources.
 
Public use areas that conserve soil and water are to have priority.  Sports facilities are to be planned and funded by others.
 
To help reduce damages from flooding, the district promotes publicly-owned linear parks, greenbelts and other open spaces by offering planning and financial assistance to counties, cities and villages.  It is district policy to cooperate with county, state and federal agencies in developing public use areas where such activities are consistent with district priorities and goals.
 
Terms
  1. The applicant must be a village, town, city, county or school located within the district.  Volunteer groups, service clubs, etc. are not eligible to receive NRD park funds, although their efforts are to be encouraged.  Their participation should be coordinated through the local unit of government making the application.
  2. The applicant is to sign an agreement with the District which includes the following conditions:
    • The applicant will administer the project.
    • The applicant will handle contracts and vendors as necessary.
    • The project will be designed and built to meet appropriate park, safety and building code requirements for public facilities.
    • The applicant has or will acquire title to or long-term lease or easement for the property on which the facility is or will be located.
    • The applicant will operate and maintain the facility.  NRD funds are not available for operation or maintenance.
    • The facility will be for the use and enjoyment of the general public.
    • The NRD funds will be paid to the applicant upon completion of each approved phase of the  project and upon satisfactory final inspection and acceptance by the NRD of each phase.
    • The applicant is to proceed in a timely fashion with the project and will submit claims for payment for work completed by July 1 of the current fiscal year.  Failure to do so may result in nonpayment.
    • The applicant will complete the project within five years of the date that the application is approved by the NRD.  Failure to do so may result in nonpayment and cancellation of the NRD’s participation.
  3. The following minimum points must be incorporated in the lease or easement:
    • The time period remaining on the lease must be at least equal to the life of the facility.  An option for renewal would be desirable.
    • The lease cannot be revoked at will by the lessor.
    • There must be a provision in the lease for continued operation and maintenance responsibilities by the sponsor.
    • A legal description and map of the area to be leased must be provided.
    • Both parties to the lease should agree that the land being leased must be retained and used for public outdoor recreation for the duration of the lease or the life of the facility.
    • The lease should state if any non-public uses (for example, grazing or farming) will occur within the limits of the lease.
  4. NRD approval of the application is not contingent upon state or federal financial assistance.  However, the applicant is encouraged to make use of state and/or federal funds whenever possible. 

Funds Available to Communities
NRD Cost-Share:  The district will fund up to 25% of the local share, of the estimated or the actual costs, whichever is less.  A maximum limit of $10,000 in NRD funds can be approved per applicant per year.  The amount of district funds available is dependent upon the annual budget.
 
State Cost-Share:  Funds may be available.  Check with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
 
Federal Cost-Share:  50% grants may be available.  Apply through the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
 
Sources of Funds

The district’s funds are from local NRD tax revenues.  Other funds come to the park sponsor direct from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission or the U.S. Department of the Interior.
 

Storm Damage Tree Replacement Program

Storm Damage Tree Replacement Program
Storm Damage Tree Replacement Program
This program is designed to encourage replacement plantings of trees and shrubs damaged or destroyed due to tornados, strong winds, hail and ice storms. This program is not for replacement of trees that have been damaged or have died due to winter kill, disease or insects.

Cost-share through this program is not available for the removal of damaged or dead trees, stump removal or maintenance. Cost-share funding will be considered for 4’ – 8’ nursery stock replacement trees under the following conditions:

Public Owned Property – The district will match 50% of the local share of the project cost of storm damaged trees on public right-of-way and public property with a maximum cost-share of $10,000. The city or village amount of district funding available is dependent on the annual budget.

Private Property – The district will match 50% of the private entity, or rural or urban homeowner’s share of the project cost of storm damaged trees on private property, with a maximum cost-share of $300 per homeowner. The amount of district funding available is dependent on the annual budget.
 
Eligibility

Rural and urban homeowners are eligible, along with cities and villages. Public and private entities, including businesses, are also eligible:
  1. The city, village, public or private entity, rural or urban homeowner, must submit an application and a work plan for the replacement tree planting.
  2. In the case of storm damage to a city or village, a work plan that includes a plan for all the public and private properties involved is preferred over individual work plans for each property. However, a signed application by each private property owner involved is required in addition to the master application submitted by the city or village.
  3. The plan or plans must include:
    • A list of the trees and shrubs, and number to be planted
    • A map showing where trees will be placed
    • A timetable for completion of the project
    • An estimate of the total project cost 
  4. The city, village, public or private entity or homeowner, must agree to maintain the plantings for a minimum of five years.
  5. The city, village, public or private entity, or homeowner (or combination thereof) must agree to match funds provided by the District, and to be responsible for all labor and any other necessary materials.
  6. Only those trees that have suffered at least 30% damage, as determined by the NRD, will be considered for replacement funding.
  7. A site visit to assess the damage to trees by the NRD Forester, or District Forester, is necessary before an application will be accepted. The Forester will offer recommendations for a work-plan for replacement plantings to the applicants.
  8. Nursery stock that is 4’– 8’ tall is recommended. Such nursery stock may be balled, burlapped, or potted. Bare root stock may also be used if it is at least six feet tall. Permanent plantings are required. Bare root stock must be planted in early spring before bud break.
  9. Tree replacement applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  10. The city, village, public or private entity, is eligible for funding for one project per storm event. The application for Storm Damage Tree Replacement must be made within two years after the storm occurs. The application must include a map and plan showing the location, and species of trees to be planted. The application shall also include an estimated project cost and a timetable for completing the Storm Damage Tree Replacement Project. The project is required to be completed within three years of the date of approval of the application.

Living Memorial Tree Planting at District Recreation Areas

Living Memorial Tree Planting at District Recreation Areas
Living Memorial Tree Planting at District Recreation Areas
Families or friends may provide a living memorial by purchasing a special tree to be planted at a district operated recreation facility.  The tree is planted and cared for by the NRD and a small sign is erected— with the name of the person memorialized or honored—identifying the kind of tree.  The trees are part of a planting plan developed by the district for each recreation area.  The NRD is responsible for the tree during its normal life span.  Species availability varies depending on the progress of the planting plans and previous purchases.  Contact the NRD for more information at (402) 362-6601 or trees@upperbigblue.org.
 

Windbreak Installation

Windbreak Installation
Windbreak Installation
This practice provides for planting new or replacement windbreaks. As part of the district’s seedling sales program, applicants may purchase seedlings from the district for spring planting under this practice. Cost-share payment is made once the planting is completed and an NRCS or NRD technician certifies that the planting meets NRCS specifications.
 
Cost-Share Rate
The cost-share rate will be either 75% of the estimated cost (minus other cost-share funds) or 75% of the actual cost (minus other cost-share funds), whichever is less. The maximum cost-share is $7,500 per landowner per year, including all NSWCP and NRD cost-share received for the fiscal year. The minimum cost-share payment is $100.

Windbreak Renovation

Windbreak Renovation
Windbreak Renovation
This practice provides site preparation and clearing for the renovation of farmstead and field windbreaks that have been rendered substantially ineffective due to the death of trees from weather, disease or other natural causes.  This practice includes a commitment to replant the windbreak. Unlike other Land Treatment practices, the applicant for this practice has 18 months to complete the project from the time he or she is authorized. The 18-month completion time allows for removal of old trees and replanting new trees.
 
Windbreak Planning
Specifications are to be based on NRCS Technical Guides. The windbreak renovation plan is to be reviewed and approved by a forester of the Nebraska Forest Service. The forester is to certify that the windbreak has lost its effectiveness, should be renovated, and approve the plan of renovation.
 
Practice Limits
  1. In no instance will a cost share payment be based on a cost greater than the statewide average cost per acre adopted by the FSA-USDA for this practice. 
  2. Items of work to be cost-shared will be determined in accordance with NRCS Technical Guidelines for windbreak renovation.
  3. This practice does not include replanting the windbreak.  Those costs could be eligible for cost-share under Practice NC-12. Otherwise, windbreak replanting costs must be paid from other sources.
  4. A landowner will not become eligible for cost-share on a windbreak renovation practice unless the landowner also agrees to replant the windbreak.  No cost-share payment for a windbreak renovation practice will be made until the windbreak has been replanted.
Cost-Share Rate
NRD Cost-Share: The cost-share rate will be either 75% of the state average cost (minus other cost-share funds) or 75% of the actual cost (minus other cost-share funds), whichever is less. The maximum cost-share $7,500 per landowner per year, including all NSWCP and NRD cost-share received for the fiscal year. The minimum cost-share payment is $100.