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nerain_logoThe Nebraska Rainfall Assessment and Information Network (NeRAIN) collects rainfall information all across Nebraska. Click logo to see rain reports.

The network needs volunteers to collect and report rainfall amounts. To participate, e-mail NeRAIN Coordinator Tyler Sanders or call him at (308) 254-2377.

Many SPNRD projects and programs are made possible thanks to Nebraska Environmental Trust grants. To learn more about NET's comittment to Nebraska's natural resources, click here.

The South Platte NRD Board of Directors is a group of locally elected officials managing area natural resources on your behalf. The board meets the second Tuesday of each month and welcomes your input.

The next scheduled board meeting is:
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
5:00 p.m. at the SPNRD Conference Room, 551 Parkland Dr., Sidney.
Click here to see board agendas and minutes.


 Western Water Use Managment (WWUM) Modeling Information

barrier_cdTo see solutions to tree girdling in
conservation tree rows see our video:


Public Notices

The meetings of the various boards, committees and advisory groups performing their functions on behalf of the South Platte Natural Resources District are meetings where business is discussed in open session, except where provided by state law. The District Board of Directors encourages members of the public to attend such meetings and provide input as to the management of natural resources in the southern Panhandle.

To see meeting notices, click here.


Conservation Trees Available

Beginning October 2017 the South Platte Natural Resources District is ready to receive orders for Conservation Trees.

Conservation trees and shrubs are a great way to buffer noise and provide privacy and beauty to the landscape.  Every year the Natural Resources Districts from across the State of Nebraska help to plant nearly a million trees.  Over four million trees have been planted in the South Platte NRD since 1977.

Several varieties of bareroot trees are available.  The Colorado Blue Spruce and Ponderosa Pine along with Black Walnut and Cottonwood are just some of the Conifers and Deciduous trees available for purchase again this year.  Shrub choices include Chokecherry and Lilac along with several others.  Each of the bareroot Conifers, Deciduous, and Shrubs are $1.00 each with a minimum order of 10 per species.

Hefty Root Plus, previously called Regular Potted Trees, will be available at $2.25 each, minimum order of 10 per species and Hefty Root, previously called Small Potted Trees will be available at $1.50 each, minimum 10 per species.

If unsure what trees or shrubs would be the most effective in the space available or what each tree or shrub looks like, visit  The website has pictures of available species with descriptions of the average height and suggested spacing between trees and rows for effective planting.  There are even charts that tell if the tree or shrub is native to one of four zones in Nebraska and whether it is suggested to plant in each zone.  Conservation Trees for Nebraska books are available for free at the District offices during normal business hours.

The South Platte NRD and NRCS offices provide assistance with tree and shrub planting plans and have a list of contractors who have been certified in the handling and planting of trees and shrubs.  There is also information about cost share opportunities and other services available on this website by clicking Conservation Trees or by stopping by the District offices at 551 Parkland Dr. in Sidney.

For a 2018 tree order form, click here. (PDF file)
For your convenience, you can type your order on the form, then print and mail it, or save it and email it to

2016 Conservation Award Winners Honored

Three awards were given out at the 2016 South Platte NRD (District) Conservation Awards reception on Tuesday, October 11, 2016.  The awards reception was held at 21st Century in Sidney.  The committee that decides the awards is made of staff members from the South Platte NRD, NRCS, and UNL Extension.    
This year’s award recipients were Paul and Colleen Hutchison for the Conservation Farm Award, Scott Trost for Conservation Tree Planter Award, and Western Nebraska Community College Sidney Campus for Community Environmental Impact Award.  All three of the award winners were recognized for their superior work in conservation practices across the District.

Since 1990 Paul Hutchison has planted 14 different windbreaks totaling nearly 14,000 trees which include livestock and field windbreaks, farmstead windbreaks, and wildlife planting.  He has also hand planted over 7,000 more trees to replace and maintain his windbreaks which in total cover just over 52 acres along with 126 acres of CRP, 13 acres of Buffer Strips, and pollinator habitat.  Hutchison also enjoys working with 4-H kids. Even though retired, Paul and his wife Colleen (pictured right), continue their conservation efforts.  The 2016 Conservation Farm Award winner is sponsored by American Bank of Sidney.


The Western Nebraska Community College Sidney Campus Outdoor Classroom was created to help enhance areas around the campus, mostly to the east, that were barren land.  Since 2008 nearly 80 trees and shrubs have been added.  WNCC is the winner of the 2016 Community Environmental Impact Award sponsored by Sidney Regional Medical Center.   Rob Ommen (pictured left), Maintenance Supervisor for WNCC, heads up the Outdoor Classroom and helps to maintain the area and order new trees and shrubs.



Over 26,000 trees and shrubs have been planted since 2011 adding wildlife habitat, reducing soil erosion, protecting crops from wind, capturing rain and snow, and helping to improve air quality by the 2016 Tree Planter Award winner Scott Trost (pictured right).  What started as a small project has now grown into over 109 acres of habitat for wildlife and other conservation practices.   In the past few years Trost has recruited help in the form of high school kids to help him plant the trees and shrubs.
All three of the award winners will now be sent on to the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts for consideration for statewide awards to be announced next year. 

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