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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:
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.