Our Town Norfolk: River Front

NORFORK, Neb. – Way back in 1881, settlers proclaimed "North Fork" to be their permanent post office address, naming it after the north fork of the Elkhorn River.

Unfortunately, U.S. Postal authorities thought the word had been misspelled, so they changed the spelling to "Nor-Folk".

Darrel Novacek is a proud member of the North Fork Riverfront Development Committee in Norfolk.

Darrel has been attending monthly meetings of the group for the past decade, but up until recently, the committee has made very little headway.

"We've got this great river that runs through Norfolk here that's controlled at the north end for flood control," Novacek said.

The river runs all the way from the north end of town, through the downtown, to the south end.

"It's just a great natural resource that we have here that a lot of communities would love to have."

The plan is to develop this downtown area of the river into something similar to what they have down in San Antonio.

“As we try to move forward and get young people to move to town, people love to recreate by walking, trails, hiking whatever."

Novacek is realistic that San Antonio is home to nearly one and a half million people, when he's comparing this project to the original river walk in Texas.

"What we're doin' is potentially get homes along there, dwellings along there, businesses along there. Everybody talks about the San Antonio river walk, we're never gonna be that, but yet we have this river here that we can do something with that's gonna be exciting, draw people to town."

The city of Norfork has already hired a company to engineer white water rafting on the river.

"It's actually simpler than I thought, it's not real simple, but yet in can be done."

These are exciting times indeed for members of the North Fork Riverfront Development Group. Darrel says that progress on this project should be evident this spring with some new trails along Johnson Park.