OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Lauritzen Gardens broke ground on an $8 million, 24,000 square feet plant production facility on Thursday.
The privately-funded project, which is called the Claire M. Hubbard Plant Production Center, is the garden's biggest addition since the conservatory opened in 2014.
The plant production center is named in recognition of a lead gift given by the Claire M. Hubbard Foundation.
“Lauritzen Gardens has become such a treasured attraction and the new plant production facility is a mission-critical project to continue the growth of Omaha’s public garden,” said Bruce Lauritzen, Lauritzen Gardens trustee. “On behalf of the trustees and board of directors, we are extremely grateful to the donors for their support of this much-needed addition that will establish the critical infrastructure the garden needs to position itself as a national leader in botanical display, education, and conservation.”
The center will be built between the Robert H. Storz Family Rose Garden and the herb garden, on the site of the former children's garden.
To support behind-the-scenes garden operations, the complex will include two collection greenhouses, two production greenhouses, one head house, a service yard for vehicles and horticultural enhancements according to a press release.
“After 20 years of use, our current greenhouses are wholly inadequate to meet the growing demands of our horticulture department. This project will greatly increase our growing capacity with energy-efficient greenhouses and laboratory space for our expanding conservation program,” said John Newman, executive director of Lauritzen Gardens. “That means we can better meet the needs of the plants in our current collection, diversify our future plant acquisitions, enhance the capacity of our conservation program, and ultimately grow more plants to showcase to our community.”
See more information from the press release below.
Lauritzen Gardens selected the architectural expertise of AO*, working with landscape architect Chalk Site Design and project manager Project Advocates.
The horticulture complex will be the first new construction at Lauritzen Gardens since the Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory was dedicated in 2014. Site preparation has begun and construction of the first greenhouse is scheduled for completion in July of 2022, with the remaining structures to be completed in 2022.
The Claire M. Hubbard Plant Production Center is part of the garden’s multi-phased “Play and Grow at Lauritzen Gardens” campaign. The $26 million campaign will also fund two additional projects: a 6,500 square-foot “Oasis” building and a new children’s garden. The Oasis will be a hub of activity and guest amenities in the back half of the garden (near the horticulture complex) that will provide an education greenhouse for student tour groups to experience hands-on learning, an indoor public space for visitors to cool off, grab a snack, and use the restroom, and a lush outdoor plaza. The 1.1 acre children’s garden will be built on the site of the garden’s current greenhouses (to the east of the festival garden). With an anticipated groundbreaking in 2022, the children’s garden will be designed for all ages and abilities, providing opportunities for creative play and both interactive and immersive experiences in nature, engaging all senses and reflecting the uniqueness of our region.
“These transformative projects will ensure the garden’s long-term vitality and will facilitate future growth opportunities that will help our community to grow together through shared experiences in nature,” said John Newman, executive director of Lauritzen Gardens.