The water trailer is a hands on educational tool, which the District personnel uses to educate children about water and its many different relationships. The water trailer was partially funded by a special grant from the Environmental Protection Agency through the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The water trailer uses recycled plastic for sand. Water running through the plastic simulates the flow of a river, erosion, sedimentation, ground water movement, channelization, watersheds, impacts on wildlife, and the effect humans have on water.
The water trailer is roughly nine feet by seven feet, and is used mostly outside because of its size. It is large enough to comfortably accommodate 25-30 students at one time. Due to weather restrictions, the trailer is used in late spring, summer, and early fall, but use is not limited to these times.
The water trailer can be used for K-6 and up. We can have a scenario prepared or we can tailor the learning to what is being taught in a class. For the younger children, demonstrations last 10-15 minutes. For older students, it depends on their interests. We can fit the water trailer into most schedules, but do require time to re-build the model in between different groups.
The water trailer works well for science fairs, to complement a science lesson, or for a fun learning experience the class won’t forget! There is no charge to have District personnel demonstrate the water trailer, no matter how many times we present it.
Some comments made by students who have attended the Water Expo
“My favorite thing was the river system model. It is just so much easier to understand when you see what they are talking about.” – Alissa A.
“I liked how we got to see how the river system model worked and how one little thing like moving trees can cause bigger things to happen like erosion.” – Jack B.
“It was fascinating to see the shaping of the land caused by a real river.” – Melynda A.
“The river system model was the coolest model I have ever seen.” – Codi C.
“My favorite place was probably the wetlands. There I liked the riparian model. I liked that place because you got to dig holes and watch the water rise in them. You also got to see the ground erode and watch currents form. I probably learned the most at the riparian model.” – Ryan C.
“I liked the riparian model. It was cool and a good display on how to teach what a river does. I learned a lot from that!” – Amy B.
Range Youth Camp
The purpose of this camp is to provide education to youth in Nebraska, ages 14-18, who are interested in rangelands and practical range management. They develop an awareness of the extent, importance, and value of Nebraska’s greatest renewable resource; develop an appreciation of the value of optimum range and livestock management; encourage leadership and good rangeland stewardship by Nebraska youth through increased awareness of natural resource issues; and develop an awareness of information sources for evaluating management alternatives.
The program emphasizes plant-soil-animal relationships, range livestock management, ranching, economics, and wildlife habitat management. The weeks emphasis is on field and classroom activities designed to provide management education.
Natural Resources Camp
The purpose of this camp is to provide youth, ages 11-15, an opportunity to gain experience in leadership and knowledge about natural resources. Activities include field trips, visiting a working ranch, and numerous hands-on exercises.
Other scholarships may be available for students and teachers per request for environmental and conservation education, and will be taken on a case-by-case basis. For more information on any of the scholarships, please contact our office.
The idea of an Outdoor Classroom was launched in March of 1976 when the seventh grade science students petitioned the Ogallala City Council to set aside a sandy weed patch site as a nature study area.
Assisted by the City, the Twin Platte Natural Resources District, the Soil Conservation Service, and Clarence Collister, the Junior High students along with their science instructor, George Acker, developed a 12-acre oasis along the south side of the South Platte River just west of the Holiday Inn.
“It is a place where people can observe plants and animals without upsetting natural systems, and where students can observe nature and understand it better.”
With the help of other organizations, we want to develop the area even further by making it a more accessible park to tourists, people of surrounding communities, and for students interested in studying nature.
In 1992, the Village of Brady gave their old landfill a new look, transforming the site into a wildlife habitat preserve and wilderness area. The 11 acre project provides wilderness footpaths, benches for resting and bird watching, and a parking area in addition to the wildlife habitat preserve. Thanks to the Game and Parks Commission which provided financial assistance for the trees, the Twin Platte Natural Resources District for developing the tree plans and planting the trees, and the Village of Brady for providing the space for the preserve.
The Twin Platte Natural Resources District works one-on-one with Producers, as shown in the picture.
Flow Meter Use
The Twin Platte Natural Resources District has a portable ultrasonic flow meter thanks to a 319 grant from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. The flow meter can provide producers flow rates on their irrigation systems. The actual flow rate is measured in gallons per minute, which is very important for proper irrigation management.
The District believes that producers are attempting to use water as efficiently as possible to conserve the available water, and to minimize costs. Results have shown that many producers are applying different amounts of water for irrigation than they realize. With the knowledge provided by the District’s portable flow meter, the producer will know the amount of water that is pumped and can optimize the use of water for irrigation.
If excess water is applied, fuel and water are wasted and the application of excess water can contribute to leaching of fertilizer and other agri-chemicals out of the root zone, where it is of no value to the crop and can pollute the ground water.
There is no service fee to offset part of the District’s staff and travel cost when using the ultrasonic flow meter for determining the flow of irrigation water for a producer.