History

Arbor Day Farm enjoys a rich history and a bright future. The land owned by J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day, was not the ordinary frontier farm. Soon after arriving in Nebraska City in 1855, Morton planted orchards, experimented with various crops, and demonstrated to others the value of trees and conservation.

His estate, now a 260‐acre National Historic Landmark, was acquired by the Arbor Day Foundation soon after its founding in 1972. Today, the tradition of inspiring stewardship continues. In 1993, Morton’s legacy took on a new meaning with the addition of Lied Lodge & Conference Center to the Arbor Day Farm landscape. Lied Lodge was thoughtfully designed to be a grand, beautiful, nature‐ inspired facility that would serve many. Turning Lied Lodge from vision to reality began with a $6 million congressional appropriation endorsed by the National Association of State Foresters and administered by the U.S. Forest Service.

This appropriation was matched with a major donation from the Lied Foundation Trust along with donations from environmental agencies, foundations and corporations, and more than 100,000 contributions from Arbor Day Foundation members. In 2015, Lied Lodge completed a comprehensive $9 million renewal and stands ready to serve both business and leisure guests into the future.

In 2004, the Tree Adventure—Arbor Day Farm’s nature‐themed attraction—first opened to the public. While preserving many of the original orchards and structures on the estate, new additions included a pavilion/visitors center, a 50‐foot‐high treehouse, greenhouse facilities, a network of woodchipped and paved hiking trails, elaborate bridges, and interactive exhibits demonstrating the beauty and wonder of trees. Today, the Tree Adventure welcomes several thousand visitors from around the world and is honored to showcase the Arbor Day Foundation’s tree‐planting mission.

We look forward to welcoming you to Arbor Day Farm.