Lincoln adds to wetlands preservation along Salt Creek

December 28, 2018

Lincoln has purchased another piece of wetlands property to add to the growing list of wilderness land protected by more than a half-dozen private and public agencies through either purchase or easements.

The city recently purchased about 61 acres of land just south of Waverly Road, between North 14th Street and North 27th Street, along Salt Creek, for $350,700.

The property is adjacent to a saline wetlands management area purchased by the city a few years ago, said Nicole Fleck-Tooze, with the city Parks and Recreation Department.

The city received $275,000 from the state Environmental Trust for the purchase from Kevin Christensen. The rest of the funding came from the city’s park acquisition funds, said Fleck-Tooze.

The land, within the city’s 3-mile jurisdiction and adjacent to a saline wetland already owned by the city, is part of the city’s efforts to preserve natural prairie and vanishing wetlands.

There will eventually be public access to the property and the adjacent wetlands management area when parking is created, said Fleck-Tooze.

This is part of the effort to protect endangered wetlands and allow people to get out and experience these natural areas, she said.

The city, other government agencies and private partners created a comprehensive plan, called the Greenprint Challenge, 17 years ago to preserve prairie, saline and freshwater wetlands, flood plains and stream corridors in and around the city.

It is a cooperative venture among the city, the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District, the state Game and Parks Commission and several private conservation-related organizations.

Since the partnership began, about 6,124 acres have been conserved through a variety of ways, including government purchase of land or easements and purchases by private conservation organizations and conservation efforts by private landowners, said Fleck-Tooze.

The city owns about 1,266 acres of this land and holds conservation easements on about 180 acres, which are privately maintained.

In addition, the city jointly owns easements with the county or the NRD for an additional 430 acres.

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