Olsson Associates


Watershed project transforms into popular recreation area in northeast Nebraska

Monday, September 18, 2017

Linda Van Hoosen, Communications

Several years ago, residents in Hubbard, Nebraska, had to travel long distances to enjoy fishing, boating, or afternoon picnics by the water. Today, the Danish Alps State Recreation Area sits near the town in northeast Nebraska and it’s becoming a popular spot. The recreation area is the result of a comprehensive plan to provide flood, erosion, and sediment control to Pigeon/Jones Creek Watershed near Hubbard. The Olsson project team performed a feasibility study and the final design for a multipurpose flood and sediment control and recreation reservoir on Jones Creek.

The Danish Alps State Recreation Area is comprised of nearly 600 acres of park land. It’s named for the early Danish settlers in the area and the lake, Kramper Reservoir, is named for Vince Kramper—an original member of the Nebraska Environmental Trust board. The recreation area provides 65 electrical camping hookups, a boat ramp, a stocked lake for fishing, equestrian trails, and walking trails. In 2016, the area received about 34,000 visitors.

In 2000, the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (Papio-NRD), with assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, completed a preliminary watershed planning effort, culminating in the Pigeon/Jones Creek Watershed Special Erosion and Sediment Control Project. Several years later, Olsson was hired to conduct a prefeasibility level study of the site. A community-based watershed management plan was developed from that study. The focal point of the plan was to keep the lake clean and clear. In the end, the project stakeholders chose to adopt an aggressive action plan designed to maintain and enhance water quality both within the lake and throughout the watershed.

Olsson’s responsibilities included conducting technical, environmental, and economic investigations for the lake. As part of these investigations, sediment and nutrient loading analyses were performed. The reservoir response was assessed to evaluate its potential water quality and to develop water quality enhancement and protection controls.

Olsson also designed a high hazard earthen dam for the lake and roadways to the recreation area. Mike Placke, Olsson’s project manager, says the success of the project is due, in part, to the relationship with the Papio-NRD.

“Working with the Papio-NRD has been excellent,” Mike said. “We’ve had a good working relationship with them on this project and  it helped keep the project moving forward.”

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