J. Sterling Morton would be proud. A noted Nebraska politician, journalist and agronomist who also served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland, Morton is probably best known for championing the value and importance of planting and caring for trees. With his great love of nature, Morton established Arbor Day in 1872 to cherish nature and further campaign for the planting of trees.
His legacy was further enhanced when Nebraska City, on behalf of The National Arbor Day Foundation, was awarded $150,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding by Governor Mike Johanns. The CDBG funding, along with matching funds from The National Arbor Day Foundation, helped support the Arbor Day Farm Tree House Trail Accessible Loop.
Arbor Day Farm is located on part of the original Morton estate and is owned and operated by The National Arbor Day Foundation. Thanks to its barrier free design, everyone can enjoy the Tree House Trail and the Canopy Tree House.
The Tree House Trail and the Canopy Tree House allow visitors of all ages to learn about and experience nature at its best. The new trail bed, designed in a fractured earth pattern, leads up to the tree house that allows visitors to get a birds-eye view of the forest. The tree house provides educational insight to visitors so they can learn more about the forest and its wildlife. The tree house includes the Canopy Tower which is set 50-feet above the forest floor; the Canopy Observation Deck which offers a scenic view of the forest; and the Nature Club Cabin which provides insight to the vast diversity of the forest.
The Tree House Trail is the newest addition to the already captivating Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure which also features the Lied Greenhouse and the Pavilion. The Lied Greenhouse provides visitors with a detailed look at how trees are grown and harvested in the greenhouse. The Pavilion offers interactive and engaging exhibits that allow visitors to understand the significance of trees in the environment. Visitors will be able to put their new knowledge of trees to good use when they receive their very own seedling tree with each paid admission.
Since the trail’s opening on July 4th, it has received “very positive feedback from visitors and has exceeded their expectations,” said Susan Wirth, Arbor Day Farm, education director. “The trail is reconnecting people to trees and the land in a fun, inspirational way,” said Wirth.
“The Tree House Trail is a one-of-a kind experience that will engage your imagination, heighten your senses, and connect you with trees and the land,” said Wirth.
Southeast Nebraska Development District
2631 “O” Street
Lincoln, NE 68510
Steve Charleston (DED Representative)
(402) 471-3757 • (800) 426-6505