Wetland Restoration Piques Curiosity

By: Amaka Ubaka Email
By: Amaka Ubaka Email

Channel 6 News received several calls about the construction at the wetland across from Mulhall's Nursery near 120th and West Maple Road.

It's work that is being done on the Heron Haven Wetland Sanctuary.

Eighty-five-year-old Ione Werthman helps manage it.

“They're cleaning up a lot of the trails and all the concrete rubble,” says Werthman.

“They have hauled out tons of concrete rubble here out of here and they opened a part of the Papio Creek because it was full of concrete rubble.”

She says it's been used as an illegal dump site for years.

“We found everything from stoves, refrigerators, you name it and its been out here along the way.”

The Corps of Engineers is teaming up with the Papio-Missouri River NRD to remove loads of sediment and invasive plants. They're also restoring a portion of the historic Oxbow Wetlands.

Crews are removing four to five feet of sediment to a disposal site north of Tranquility Park.

The work is happening in Mike O' Hanlon's backyard. He says it'll make the only wetlands in the City of Omaha even better.

“We consider it a plus. It's very beautiful, lot of wildlife back here, very private,” says O’Hanlon.

Once crews remove the sediment, native vegetation will be planted. Werthman says there are 144 species of birds now that call the wetlands their home and after the project there will be even more.

The project is costing $600,000 and more than half is being paid with a federal grant. The other portion is being paid by the Papio-Missouri River NRD

The wetland is currently closed while the work is being done, but should reopen in late June.

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