Papio NRD Board Elects Officers

At its July 11, 2024, meeting, the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board of Directors elected officers to serve the District for the coming year (July 2024 – July 2025).

Tim McCormick in Subdistrict 4 was elected Papio NRD Board Chairperson. Larry Bradley in Subdistrict 3 will serve as Vice Chairperson.

Richard Tesar in Subdistrict 5 was re-elected as both Papio NRD Board Secretary and Nebraska Association of Resources District (NARD) Director. Tim Fowler in Subdistrict 8 was re-elected to serve as Papio NRD Board Treasurer and NARD Alternate Director. Patrick Bonnett in Subdistrict 9 was re-elected Assistant Treasurer.

The Papio NRD Board of Directors is an 11-member board that sets policy for Papio NRD programs and projects and oversees the District’s annual budget.

Tami Tipton – Employee Spotlight

Today we shine the spotlight on Tami Tipton – a really cool “chick.”

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Omaha, District 66-Rockbrook area.

What does your job entail (job duties and how does your work impact the public)?

My job entails promoting programs that are offered by the Papio NRD. I also support the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency staff with maintaining tract files associated with farms in the county as well as doing associated administrative work.  My work impacts the public through education and outreach about programs offered by the Papio NRD. Specifically promoting the tree program and E-WASTE event.

What’s the most unique thing in your office or on your desk right now?

The most unique thing on my desk is a sign I have displayed; “MY BIRTHSTONE IS A COFFEE BEAN”.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work (hobbies, volunteering, etc.)?

Outside of work I try to maintain my kids’ schedule with sports/dance/gymnastics and recently, musical practice. I also love to read, cook, bake and in the summer, we spend most weekends at our cabin on the Missouri River.

I am learning about raising backyard chickens. We recently added 6 chicks to our household. We also have a 12-year-old goldendoodle named Remy. I recently volunteered at a community fundraiser for the Walthill Senior center. In the fall right after I started working with the Papio NRD I volunteered with other NRDs, UNL Extension, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service at the 6th Grade Conservation Day event at Summit Lake in Tekamah.

What educational background or experience do you bring to your role (degree(s), coursework, skills learned, etc.)?

I was a certified Medical Assistant (Methodist College graduate) in Omaha for 19 years prior to moving to Pender, NE. During that time, I finished my bachelor’s degree in psychology at Grace University in 2011.

Is there family, significant other, or furry friend information you’d like to share?

Husband-Gabe, son-Hunter (11), daughter-Isabel (8)

My hubby grew up in Walthill. I met Gabe in Omaha in 2008, we were married in 2010. We moved to Pender in 2019, wanting our children to grow up in a more rural setting.

What is your favorite band(s)?

Right now, I’m listening to Zack Bryan AND the new Taylor Swift album on REPEAT.



Nebraska State Park Replaces Trees through Papio NRD Grant Program

Several crabapple trees recently found a new home and the crew that planted them in the heat and among blood-thirsty mosquitoes was anything but crabby.

Michael Westover, Superintendent I of Fort Atkinson State Historical Park in Fort Calhoun, says the trees were “heaven-sent.”

“We’ve been taking out more trees than we’ve been able to replace and when we saw that we were able to get some, we tried to get in with the grant program,” said Westover.

Fort Atkinson State Historical Park applied for trees through Papio NRD’s Celebrate Trees Grant Program. The grant was approved, and the park received 21 trees, enabling it to replant native trees, complete a fruit orchard, and provide shade for park visitors.

The Celebrate Trees Grant Program provides funding for tree planting on public land for community benefit, such as parks, cemeteries, tribal lands, libraries, and villages within the six counties of the Papio NRD (Sarpy, Douglas, Washington, Burt, Thurston, and Dakota).

“It’s a great program to take advantage of due to the value trees bring to a community and to help offset the increasing cost of trees,” said Terry Schumacher, land and water programs coordinator for the Papio NRD.

“Grants are awarded a maximum of $2,500 or $250 per tree and matching funds are not required,” said Schumacher. “The applications are funded using a ranking system that places higher emphasis on public parks and the replacement of diseased or storm-damaged trees.”

Schumacher says those who apply should plan to do mulching, staking, watering, and other care to ensure a successful planting.

Westover says the park will definitely apply for future grants and encourages others who are eligible to do the same.

“We just want to say thank you,” said Westover. “This was an amazing thing we could do. Every time we have to cut down more trees, it just kind of hurts, so that fact that we were able to bring in more trees and give this kind of beautification to our park, it’s just great.”

Applications can be submitted for the Celebrate Trees Grant Program November through February. If you’d like more information, please contact Kalani Fortina (402) 426-4782 ext. 3 or

Water Safe to Drink: Washington County Rural Water Systems

The Papio NRD received water quality lab test results today that indicate no E. coli in Washington County Rural Water Systems #1 and #2  (WCRW), so the water is safe to consume. This is also the case for our wholesale customers of Ft. Calhoun and Lakeland Estates Water Company.

Due to an E. coli-positive result from the City of Blair water system, the Papio NRD isolated all WCRW customers from the Blair water supply Wednesday night and started providing water from Metropolitan Utilities District.

WCRW will continue testing and monitoring the situation to continue providing safe water to all of our customers.