US (NE): Arboretum celebrates opening of new production greenhouse

Staff
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After several days of thunderstorms, it was blue skies and sunshine on Thursday, May 2, for the grand opening of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum’s (NSA) new production greenhouse. More than 65 NSA donors and members, community leaders and university staff gathered outside of the greenhouse on UNL’s East Campus for the ribbon cutting ceremony and then stayed to shop at the plant sale that followed.

NSA Executive Director Hanna Pinneo thanked the many donors who helped NSA raise the funds needed to construct the new greenhouse. “Some gave five dollars, some gave more. We are grateful for every dollar donated that helped us reach this goal,” she said.

Prior to the construction of the new greenhouse, NSA Horticulture Program Coordinator Bob Henrickson and a cadre of volunteers drove to Mead several days each week from mid-February through April, where they sowed seeds and germinated thousands of plants in borrowed greenhouse space. Going forward, the new greenhouse will make plant production much more efficient.

“When your mission is to ‘plant Nebraska,’ you need to plan, grow and nurture lots of plants,” said NSA Board President Julie Zahn. “This task just became immensely more efficient today.”

“The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum links Nebraskans to the University, to the Institute of Natural Resources and to the natural world,” said Cara Pesek, IANR communications director, at the ceremony. “The plants grown in this greenhouse will help further the Statewide Arboretum’s work all across Nebraska.”

The additional space will also enable NSA to sell more trees, shrubs and perennials that are native and well-adapted to the climate and ecology of the Great Plains.

“Native plants are important to homeowners and communities that are trying to create more biodiverse and climate-resilient landscapes,” said Pinneo. “If we can get more native plants into these landscapes, we are going to see improvements in climate resiliency.”

Lincoln resident and NSA member Karna Cronn attended the plant sale following the ribbon cutting. Cronn, a Master Garden who volunteers at Sheridan Elementary’s outdoor classroom and garden, was looking for native plants that will attract pollinators to the school garden.

“I was so pleased to see all the variety of native plants,” said Cronn. “I’m really happy that our school’s garden will be the lucky recipient of these little green treasures!”

NSA will hold several more plant sales at its East Campus greenhouses and in Omaha, Bellevue, Gretna and Gering this spring. Visit plantnebraska.org/plantsales for a list of dates and locations.

Source: ianrnews.unl.edu

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