More than two dozen beautifully designed garden areas present the best plants for Nebraska gardens. Three native gardens display plants from southern mixed grass prairie and tallgrass prairie.
The plantings of City Campus began in 1871 shortly after completion of the first University Hall. Trees and landscape plantings were evident in photos of the early years of the City Campus. Plantings were added with each new building and continued into the early years of 1900, with special support from tree planters J. Sterling Morton, Governor Furnas, and Charles Bessey.
The UNL Botanical Garden and Arboretum (UNLBGA) was created by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents in 1988. Preliminary planning and development began in 1978. Affiliation with the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum was approved in 1989.
Maxwell Arboretum, now a part of UNLBGA, was created by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents in 1969. The plantings of East Campus began with the purchase of the Culver farm. Culver planted trees which still enhance the "the Porch" where the original farm cottage stood. The influence of Bessey caused additional planting of Holdrege Street frontage, the mall and other landscape space. Earl Maxwell continued with plantings during the 1940's which are now evident as the mature trees of the arboretum.
- 617 total acres (City Campus 275 acres and East Campus 342 acres)
- 325+ total acres of green space
- Approximately 9,000 trees
- Landscape valued at over $9.1 million
- 15 miles of streets
- 35 miles of paved sidewalks
- 84.5 acres of parking (16,076 stalls)
Admission is free. The gardens are open daily from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. We schedule tours, do trimming, mulching, mowing, and chemical applications on a regular basis. If you would like to spend an extended length of time, take a self-guided or guided tour, please call ahead to reserve a garden area and help us ensure your safety. (402)472-2679.
The gardens are easily accessible by taking Interstate 80 to I-180 south. Once in town you will find the campus located just east of I-180 near 14th and "R" streets. East Campus is located five minutes northeast of City Campus at 35th and Holdrege Streets.
Gardens are located on both campuses. City Campus Gardens are centrally located. Approximate locations are:
|City Campus Garden||Location|
|Love Garden||13th & R Street|
|Cather Garden||between 12th Street Mall & Love Library North|
|Andrews and Burnett Gardens||South of Andrew and Burnett Halls respectively|
|Enright Garden||North of Love Library extending to Memorial Mall|
|Donaldson Garden||between Love Library North and the 14th street walkway|
|Holling Garden||Wick Alumni Center|
|Sheldon Garden||11th to 12th street south and west of Sheldon Art Gallery|
|Weaver Native Garden||west of Beadle Center 19th & Vine|
|East Campus Garden||Location|
|The Prairie||30th and Center Drive just west of the Dental College|
|The Porch, Old Rose Garden, and Joe Young Memorial Grove||North of Holdrege at Idylwild|
|Maxwell Arboretum||Central spot is the Gazebo, on the East Campus Loop north of 38th and Holdrege St.|
|Magdaline Pfister Iris Garden||Northeast of Nebraska Center Parking lot, 33rd & Holdrege|
|Fleming Slope||on the East Campus Loop north of 38th and Holdrege St.|
|Yeutter Garden||on the East Campus Loop north of 38th and Holdrege St.|
- Visit parking.unl.edu/visitors for the most current parking information.
- Recommended parking for City Campus Gardens are metered spaces along R Street or downtown, or the parking garage at 17th and Vine.
- On East Campus, parking is available in metered spaces along the East campus loop east of the Holdrege Street entrance (stoplight between 37th and 38th).
Educational programs foster appreciation of the landscape and a better understanding of the wonderful world of plants. University classes use the Botanical assets of campus in Museum Science, Biology, English, and many other courses. Community activities include school programs, tours, and workshops.
People wishing to designate trees, benches, or plantings in honor or in memory of a loved one may call (402)472-9134 for information about the process.
Landscape Services & Botanical Garden Staff
Eileen Bergt, Director/Campus Landscape Architect
Kirby Baird, Landscape & Botanical Services - City Campus
Susan Budler, Operations Manager
Emily Casper, Landscape Architect
Jeff Culbertson, East Campus Manager
Fred Thorne, Irrigation Manager
Rich Wahl, Construction Manager