Since 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has been putting the environment first in Nebraska. They have helped plant over 60 million trees around the world. On the Arbor Day Farm, which is the birthplace of Arbor Day, stands the Lied Lodge.
The Lied Lodge has been an institution for Nebraska, serving as a place for Arbor Day Foundation members, other conservation-related organizations, forestry professionals, and other organizations to study, learn, and commit to action to preserve and protect the earth and its natural resources. As with all facilities over the years, the lodge was in need of several improvements to continue delivering their mission to future generations.
In 2010, Nebraska City was awarded $300,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Tourism Development category funding. Lied Lodge used this grant to renovate different features including conference room remodeling, exterior repairs to sidewalks, windows and doors, public space renewals with lighting and refreshed walls and amenities. The Lodge also updated the conference rooms, the technology in them, improved the lighting, and also added new carpet and paint. These improvements to the conference rooms enabled conference guests to host and attend successful meetings and presentations. The project resulted in an additional 10 jobs.
In 2014, renovations were needed once again to continue to provide great service to visitors. This time it was to improve upon the accessibility of the building. Nebraska City was awarded $238,400 in CDBG funds which provided for barrier-free accessibility for severely disabled adults and elderly conference attendees and guests requiring wheelchair access. The renovations to Lied Lodge accommodations were made to meet ADA accessibility requirements. Other accommodations included a remodel of the lobby restroom and first floor public restroom, installation of automatic exterior front entrance doors at the circle drive, pool lifts for an Olympic-size indoor pool, general renovation of a breakout room, and the lobby to accommodate wheelchair accessible check-in options at the front desk and host stand.
Since all of the renovations were completed, the Lied Lodge has been able to leverage more than $8 million of additional support from a variety of vendors, companies, individuals, and foundations from across the country. All of these changes have made the experience and space more enjoyable for guests. Travelers and business leaders have had their use of Lied Lodge elevated through expanded meetings and a multitude of activities. Lied Lodge has been a prominent draw to Nebraska, and will continue to be in the future.