For 50 years, a luscious space on East Campus of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has been a popular spot for tours, school field trips, family photographs and people seeking a tranquil escape from a busy day. The five-acre Earl G. Maxwell Arboretum of towering woodlands and shrubs showcases the greatest diversity of plant species at the university.
The arboretum bears the name of Earl G. Maxwell, a longtime state extension forester at the university. Maxwell was interested in finding woody plants that could survive, even thrive in Nebraska's harsh environment. To this end, and out of a basic love and interest in trees, Earl Maxwell began to test species at the site that now bears his name. In the end, he planted and evaluated over 100 species.
Dedicated as the second site of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, the Maxwell Arboretum features special collections of trees, shrubs, vines and perennial plants, sunny open prairie and trial sites for new cultivars. The Karl Loerch Gazebo and the Perin Porch provide shady seating areas at the entrances to the arboretum, and beyond them visitors find secluded benches and picnic tables nestled among the collections.
The Department of Landscape Services maintains the Maxwell Arboretum. In 1992, a group called The Friends of Maxwell Arboretum was founded to assist Landscape Services with the development of the space.
A 50th anniversary celebration of the Earl G. Maxwell Arboretum is planned for May 16. Remarks will be made at the Nebraska East Union at 2:30 p.m., followed by a tree planting, refreshments and tours in the arboretum. The public is invited to attend.