Elkhorn River Access Sites to Close For Season on November 1

Elkhorn River rats…last chance!

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District will close all access sites to the Elkhorn River for the season on November 1st. While the Elkhorn Crossing access site closed early for the season for renovations, the West Maple Road and Graske Crossing access sites will close the morning of November 1st.

The access sites will reopen April 1st, 2019.


Calling All Creative, Nature-loving Students – It’s NACD Poster Contest Time


Aren’t these posters incredible…and inspiring? They were drawn by K-12 students who illustrated their love of natural resources in previous NACD poster contests for the chance to have their art displayed as part of a national conservation outreach initiative and win monetary prizes.

2018 NACD Poster Contest

Get your colored pencils and crayons ready! We are now accepting entries for the 2018 NACD Poster Contest. This year’s theme is “Watersheds – Our Water, Our Home.”

The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) along with Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts provide K-12 students with an opportunity to express their thoughts about water, soil, and related natural resource issues.

Interested? Of course you are. For details at-a-glance regarding the poster contest, the blue infographic provides a quick run-down. For more in-depth information, such as contest rules, filling out the entry form (which you definitely want to do), etc., please do the following:

How to Enter the NACD Post Contest

 – Fill out the entry form on the NARD website. 

 – Attach the completed entry form to the back of your poster (tape, glue, staples, etc).

 – Mail your poster to:

Austen Hill, Education Programs Supervisor
Papio NRD
8901 S. 154th Street
Omaha, NE 68138

Better hurry, the contest entry deadline is November 14th.



West Papio Trail Expansion Ready for Cycling Action

New three-mile bike trail connects west Omaha to Bellevue area –
a milestone 25 years in the making

On October 2, 2018, the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District and the Cities of Omaha and La Vista celebrated the grand opening of a new three-mile stretch of the West Papio Trail in Millard that links west Omaha to the Bellevue area. The new segment creates a 130-mile network through Douglas and Sarpy Counties that’s been more than 25 years in the making.

The West Papio Trail addition connects the existing trail at 108th & Giles Road to the new Lumberyard District at 132nd & Q Street. While technically small in size, the connection provides tremendous recreational opportunities with historical significance by connecting Millard and west Omaha to La Vista, Papillion, and Bellevue – stretching down to the Missouri River by a continuous dedicated trail corridor.

“This regionally significant and boundary-breaking project provides expanded recreation, active transportation for Omaha metro residents, and increased access to natural resources,” said Eric Williams, Papio NRD Natural Resources Planner. “The Papio-Missouri Natural Resources District was fortunate to partner with the Cities of La Vista and Omaha in the design and construction of this milestone project,” said Williams.

“Through the partnership of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resource District and the City of La Vista, we are all very excited to announce the completion of the West Papio Trail extension that links West Omaha and Bellevue,” said Brook Bench, City of Omaha Parks and Recreation Director. “This trail segment will allow for more recreation in the community and will serve as an active avenue for transportation for Omaha metro residents.”

“Today we celebrate the extension of the West Papio Trail which connects with La Vista,” said La Vista Mayor Douglas Kindig. “Projects such as this one are not possible without partners and cooperation between different entities. The completion of this project will improve the quality of life and provide a valuable amenity to our citizens,” said Kindig.

The trail expansion follows the original stretch of the former Union Pacific transcontinental railroad. The Papio NRD was able to restore all of the old bridges that will now be used as trail bridges. National “rails to trails” efforts are focused on reusing abandoned railroad property for multi-use paths, allowing long, flat corridors to become community focus points and preserving the history of railroad infrastructure.

As the most well-known railroad in America, this new section of trail highlights the natural geographic features, incorporates transportation and commerce history, and connects communities just as the railroad did nearly 150 years ago.

The West Papio Trail expansion project cost $3.2 million, with the Cities of Omaha and La Vista each contributing 20 percent of the cost.