The gardens that surround the Prairie Building are designed to help visitors appreciate the beauty and diversity of prairie plants. Many are drought tolerant choices for home gardens. Labels allow identification of plants that can be seen in our prairie. A brochure is available that highlights some of the plants in the garden that have interesting historical uses.
The Louise Evans Doole Herb Garden, located north of the Chet Ager Building, was established in 1972. Mrs. Doole was an editor of The Nebraska Farmer and author of several books on herbs. A complete renovation of the garden was undertaken in 2003 using funds from an endowment given by the Doole family, and a Greenspace Initiative Grant administered by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. The garden has grown from 16 herbs to a display of over 150, many with identifying labels. Staff and volunteers perform the day-to-day garden maintenance.
The Irene and George Alexander Bird Garden is located west of the Chet Ager Building and was established the spring of 2012. The garden is a bird sanctuary and demonstrative backyard wildlife habitat filled with feeders, a water feature and variety of forbes and shrubs. Visitors can view the garden through the windows of the Chet Ager Building or from the bird blind surrounding it.
The Children’s Garden is a raised bed vegetable and flower garden. Children participating in Nature Center programming plant, tend and learn about plant life cycles. Everyone is welcome to explore and enjoy the plantings.
The Preschool Butterfly Garden is planted with colorful annuals by the children in our preschool program and their families each spring