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 7,000 inventoried 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 do trimming, mulching, mowing, and chemical applications on a regular basis. If you would like to spend an extended length of time, please call ahead to reserve a garden area and help us ensure your safety. (402)472-1229.


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.

View a full sized version of the interactive map above at

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 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.
Magdalene Pfister Iris Garden In Maxwell Arboretum
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 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.

Special Gifts Program

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.


The UNL Botanical Garden and Arboretum is administered by Landscape Services in the Department of Facilities Management and Planning.

Landscape Services & Botanical Garden Staff

Eileen Bergt, Assistant Director/ Landscape Architect
Susan Budler, Controller Manager
Jeff Culbertson, Director, Landscape Operations
Randy Arndt, Irrigation Manager