Nebraska City, Neb., July 27, 1998--The U.S. Department of Energy's Western Biomass Energy Program has awarded $58,734 to help develop the Fuelwood Energy Plant Visitors Center at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Neb. Arbor Day Farm is owned and operated by The National Arbor Day Foundation and is the only place in the world with a fuelwood energy plant for heating and cooling and with a fuelwood plantation all on one site.

The Department of Energy grant will help the Arbor Day Foundation develop the Fuelwood Energy Plant's current viewing gallery into an interpretive visitors center. The new center will help visitors better understand renewable biomass energy technologies and the operation of Arbor Day Farm's Fuelwood Energy Plant. The visitors center will also highlight biomass energy resources as efficient, environmentally sound, and economically viable.

The Fuelwood Energy Plant is foremost among Arbor Day Farm's demonstrations at Lied Conference Center. The plant supplies the heating and cooling needs of the Foundation's 103,000 square foot Lied Conference Center. It also provides hot water for the entire conference center, as well as warm water for the indoor pool and heating and drying capabilities for the laundry room.

In awarding the grant, the Department of Energy's Western Regional Biomass Energy Program considered Arbor Day Farm's current development as a national education and demonstration site for tree planting and sound conservation practices. Last year more than 160,000 guests visited Arbor Day Farm.

The National Arbor Day Foundation opened Lied Conference Center in October, 1993. The center is located on the southern edge of Arbor Day Farm, once the estate of Arbor Day founder J. Sterling Morton and now a National Historic Landmark.

The National Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit education organization dedicated to tree planting and care.