Hidden Gems: OPPD Arboretum teaches and inspires - Omaha.com
Published Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 3:00 pm
Hidden Gems: OPPD Arboretum teaches and inspires

Golden raintree. Green column black maple. Winter king hawthorn. Ohio buckeye.

These trees plus 200 others flourish in the Omaha Public Power District Arboretum.

Omahan Richard Thies emailed us about the Arboretum: “I discovered it last winter after a heavy wet snowfall, walked the trails, and took some interesting photos.”

The arboretum, which is open free to the public from dawn to dusk daily, is a living classroom located at 108th and Blondo Streets.

It teaches about safety considerations when planting near power lines and electrical equipment, how important plantings are to energy conservation, and what plantings are recommended for this area.

On a recent morning, Omahans Judy Westerman and Ruth Johnson studied the arboretum's trees. Johnson needs something short, maybe an evergreen, to replace a dead apple tree in her yard.

Johnson snapped photos and recorded names of the ones she favored.

Other visitors that morning walked the two miles of trails.

The arboretum also features eight educational exhibits, an outdoor classroom, a lowland water feature and an overlook to the adjacent substation.

Two of the 27 acres are devoted to wildflowers. About 200 shrubs and 1,000 other plants, including grasses and vines, add lushness and block the noise from Blondo and nearby Interstate 680.

Large rocks, footbridges and other decorative elements are attractive. Some visitors have added homemade bird feeders to small trees and the lower branches of taller trees.

Flowering plants and vines on trellises conceal a row of portable toilets.

Leashed dogs are welcome, but owners must clean up after them. Not to worry if you forget to bring clean-up bags. There's a dispenser of them.

Contact the writer: Sue Story Truax

sue.truax@owh.com    |   402-444-1165

Sue writes obituaries and covers community news and schools for Omaha.com's Living section, primarily Community Connection.

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