DU’s Verona Tract is located in Clay County, Nebraska, in the heart of the Rainwater Basin. Over the years, DU has acquired several tracts of land in this area. At present, DU owns 1,026 acres on the Verona Complex. Much of this land has already been restored to wetlands and native grasslands. The balance of the property is scheduled to be restored in 2010. During 2009, DU will install a new well and bury water delivery pipelines on the tract. These facilities will provide DU with a supplemental source of water to manage wetlands on the property. During 2008, DU completed fencing on much of the property. The new fence will be needed as grasslands mature and grazing management is needed to maintain optimum grassland conditions for nesting birds, including waterfowl and ring-necked pheasants. Grasslands also provide important buffer habitat around wetlands, protecting water quality and habitat condition. DU also completed additional wetland restoration work on the Swanson portion of Verona in early 2009.
DU is planning the dedication of the “Fallen Heroes Marsh” project in the summer of 2009. The “Fallen Heroes Marsh” project is a tribute to Nebraska’s veterans who were wounded or killed during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The entire Verona Complex is open to the public during the fall hunting seasons. The “Wolf North Tract” portion of Verona is open to only youth hunters, although adults are encouraged to hunt with the youngsters, but not carry a gun.