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2004 Media Releases

October 4, 2004
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Neil Watson, Ne. Environmental Trust, 471-8233
Terry Genrich, Lincoln Parks and Recreation, 441-7939

Purchase Expands Wetlands at Arbor Lake

Mayor Coleen J. Seng today announced that the City of Lincoln and the Saline Wetlands Conservation Partnership have purchased 69.2 acres of land adjacent to Lincoln’s Arbor Lake to expand wetlands. The lake is north of 27th Street and Arbor Road. The purchase will nearly double the amount of imperiled saline wetland habitat at Arbor Lake, which is preserved by the City and its partners in Lancaster County.

Saline wetlands are one of the rarest ecosystems in Nebraska. Concentrated in Lancaster and Saunders counties, these salt marshes host salt-tolerant plants and animals found nowhere else in Nebraska, including two species that are listed on the state’s endangered species list.

“For many years, Arbor Lake has provided the citizens of Lincoln with the opportunity to experience one of Nebraska’s most unique ecosystems, ” said Mayor Seng. “This acquisition will increase these opportunities while conserving the area for future generations to enjoy. ”

The Saline Wetlands Conservation Partnership worked with a local landowner to acquire the adjoining parcels to the east and south of Arbor Lake. Funding for the acquisition was provided through a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust, which has provided $750,000 over the last three years for saline wetland conservation. Strong partnerships were a key factor in receiving the funding, according to Mary A. Harding, Executive Director of the Trust.

“The Trust seeks out projects that bring together the resources of multiple partners to achieve real progress on Nebraska’s natural resource issues, ” Harding said. “We are proud to support the work of the Saline Wetlands Conservation Partnership in its efforts to preserve the last of Nebraska’s saline wetlands. ”

Full partners of the Saline Wetlands Conservation Partnership include the City of Lincoln, Lancaster County, the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District, The Nature Conservancy and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Other partners include private landowners, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ducks Unlimited, the Wachiska Audubon Society, the Nebraska Sierra Club, the Home Builders Association of Lincoln, Pheasants Forever, the Conservation Alliance of the Great Plains and the Nebraska Wildlife Federation.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992 to preserve, protect and restore natural resources for future generations. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided grants to more than 700 projects across the state. Individuals and organizations can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska.

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