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November 16, 2018

Pender earns community forestry grant from LENRD

The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) recently awarded tree planting grants to nine communities within the LENRD.  Pender is one of the communities that received tree planting funds through the LENRD’s Community Forestry Grant.  The Pender Street Tree Revitalization Initiative received $3,750 that will go towards planting trees along the community terraces.

Wanda Kelly applied for this grant and will be in charge of coordinating this project from start to finish.  A total of $31,824.94 was awarded to nine communities and schools within the LENRD for tree plantings that will take place in the spring or fall of 2018.

The LENRD Community Forestry Grant is open to all communities within the LENRD and can be applied only to land that is owned by local government, county government, or public schools as long as the land is within the boundaries of the LENRD. 

This grant came to be due to the large amount of trees in several communities that were being removed due to disease, environment and old age. With the threat of new insects and diseases coming into the Midwest, the LENRD put together a program to help all communities and lands owned by local or county government with this project. 

In the past, this grant has been awarded to communities to use in their parks, at their schools, and even to help establish a new arboretum and a fruit orchard. To find out more about community forestry or to update the contact person for your community tree board, contact the LENRD at 402-371-7313.

“Nebraska is the ‘Tree Planter State’ after all,” saidPam Bergstrom, Forester for the LENRD.  “Planting trees, especially when you plant a diverse selection of trees, improves the towns aesthetic features and it has been proven that towns with a good ‘community forest’ are shown to have a positive appeal to guests and the folks who call that community home will find they are not as stressed as their counterparts who occupy communities that lack a healthy community forest.  We are a state that really does like to see trees thriving in our community landscapes.”

2018’s planting will be the fifth of a 10-year initiative to get more trees along Pender’s streets.

The tree board emphasizes the planting of mostly native, hard wooded species that will stand up in storms. Pender is a perfect example of a small community that has seen the removal of many trees (for a number of reasons) and folks not planting replacement trees. This is a trend that we must turn around for the sake of our children and future generations living in Pender, Kelly said.

The LENRD is one of 23 Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) across the state of Nebraska. 

The NRDs were created in 1972 by the Nebraska Legislature with the following responsibilities: protecting ground water, erosion prevention, flood prevention, soil conservation, pollution control, management of wildlife habitat, forestry/agroforestry management, range management, recreation management, and providing the public with information and educational material, learning sessions, and technical assistance. 

To learn more about the LENRD and the programs they provide, go to or to learn about all the NRDs go to  The LENRD Main Office is located at the Lifelong Learning Center on the campus of Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska or you can reach them at 402-371-7313.  You can also find out about the LENRD and other NRDs by visiting your local Natural Resources Conservation Service Office in your county.

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