The Papio Missouri River Natural Resources District opens the new Big Elk Lake and Portal Lake Recreation Areas to the public.
They provide flood protection for Papillion and other parts of Sarpy County, as well as the recreational benefits and green space.
The NRD Board of Directors earlier this year voted to name the Papillion reservoir, located near 108th & Cornhusker Road, Big Elk Lake in honor of Chief Big Elk, the famed leader of the Omaha Tribe.
Portal Recreation Area is at 114th and Cornhusker Road.
During a ceremony, Dr. Rudi Mitchell, the great-great-great grandson of Chief Big Elk, held a cedar ceremony, burning cedar on charcoal, to bless the lake and surrounding recreation area.
The Omaha Tribe also gave the NRD an ornate Pendleton blanket.
The reservoirs feature walking/cycling trails, kayak/canoe launches, picnic shelters, park land, and fishery enhancements.
(Pictures from Papio - Missouri River NRD)