Nebraska City, Neb. -- The National Arbor Day Foundation is preparing to welcome thousands of guests to Arbor Day Farm for Arbor Day Weekend, April 28 and 29. Event organizers say that visitors to the farm, located just west of Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, will enjoy old-fashioned fun and games as well as many new activities. This year a petting zoo will be located in the Historic Morton Barns, and guests can take part in such traditional games as sack races and an egg toss, along with newer favorites like tree-climbing with the help of an arborist expert and the chance to make eco-crafts.
Visitors are also invited to take a trip through a rain forest maze, sample such sustainable rain forest products as shade-grown coffee, learn about tree identification by traveling through a "Mystery Tree Labyrinth," enjoy musical entertainment, and visit the Fuelwood Energy Plant Visitors Gallery, filled with colorful drawings and information for conservation-minded guests of all ages.
Celebration hours at Arbor Day Farm are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 28, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 29. Admission is free and open to the public.
"Everyone is invited to be a part of our traditional celebration of Arbor Day, here in the birthplace of this special American holiday," said Susan Wirth, education coordinator of the Arbor Day Foundation. "This is a way to have a good, old-fashioned time while learning about the spirit of environmental stewardship fostered by Arbor Day founder J. Sterling Morton.”
Events offered include a cross-cut saw competition, plant sale, and face-painting. Free seedling trees and wildflower seeds will be given away on a first come, first served basis, and tree experts will be on hand to offer tree care advice.
“Everyone is welcome to participate in our Piewalk and Pie Garden games, and to sample the creations of our Apple House chefs,” Wirth said. “We’ll offer cooking demonstrations and taste tests of candy apple pie, hazelnut biscotti, apple-soycake, and more gourmet recipes. We have more activities planned than ever before at Arbor Day Farm.”
Originally part of J. Sterling Morton's estate, today Arbor Day Farm is a National Historic Landmark owned and operated by The National Arbor Day Foundation. The Farm includes the Historic Morton Barns, Lied Conference Center, the Apple House, orchards, arboretums, trails, agroforestry demonstrations, the fuelwood energy plant and fuelwood plantation, and the newly opened Fuelwood Energy Plant Visitors Gallery. Free shuttle tours of the property will be offered over the weekend.
Additional information on the Arbor Day Weekend Celebration is available by calling Arbor Day Farm at (402) 873-9347.