Lincoln Regional Center to Host 40th Annual Arbor Day Ceremony

News Release
For Immediate Release: 4/15/2019

Julie Naughton, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-1695 (office); (402) 405-7202 (cell);


Lincoln – When Detroit journalist and politician J. Sterling Morton arrived in Nebraska Territory in 1854, he missed the trees back home.  On April 25 at 1 pm, Nebraskans will be able to share in Morton's legacy as the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) plants trees to honor nine past employees at the Lincoln Regional Center.

The Lincoln Regional Center, part of DHHS's Division of Behavioral Health, has organized and held this annual Arbor Day ceremony since 1979, planting trees each year to add to its beautiful campus, which has been an accredited arboretum and an affiliate site with the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum since 1984.  The first Arbor Day in Nebraska was in April of 1872, when more than one million trees were planted.

“This annual ceremony gives us the opportunity to remember those who have contributed their time and talents to the Lincoln Regional Center," said Mark LaBouchardiere, facilities director for DHHS. “Also, because we often see raptors like Great Horned Owls and eagles in our trees, we're pleased to have Brooke Manes from Raptor Recovery Rehabilitation as a speaker at the ceremony."

This year, the following trees will be planted:  

  • Liberty Apple tree: In memory of Jeremiah Cummings, Security Specialist II at LRC from 2013 to 2018
  • Dannebrog Bur Oak tree: In memory of Robert Scott Fox, MD, a former physician at LRC from 1977 to 1994
  • Chinese Chestnut tree: In memory of Jerry Gibson, a former nurse and pharmacy tech at LRC from 1985 to 1996
  • Schuetts Oak tree: In memory of Bradley King, Youth Security Specialist at Whitehall from 1977 to 2015
  • Parker Pear tree: In memory of Sandra Marquart, teacher at Whitehall from 1975 to 2003
  • Bur X Live Oak tree: In memory of Patsy Ann Moore, wife of retired LRC psychiatrist Y. Scott Moore, MD
  • Lancaster County Bur Oak tree: In memory of Daniel Powers, program specialist at LRC from 1991 to 2013
  • Summer Crisp Pear tree: in memory of Karen Thaut, secretary II at LRC from 1987 to 2017
  • Montmorency Cherry tree: In memory of Elizabeth Willey, RN, nurse at LRC from 1976 to 2015

Today, the 107-acre campus has 375 different plant varieties that include evergreens, ornamental trees, shade trees, and shrubs, totaling approximately 3,000 to 4,000 trees. The Lincoln Regional Center also has more than 30 different varieties of oaks and a substantial collection of viburnum trees, a nature path, and extensive wildlife that promote and foster a peaceful and beautiful environment for care and treatment.

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