Construction begins on Yanney Park botanical garden

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 6:29 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Construction has begun at Yanney Heritage Park in Kearney to create a new botanical garden. The first phase will be over four acres across from the Peterson Senior Activity Center.

The Yanney Heritage Park Foundation was approached by Mr. Yanney with the idea for a garden in the park. After two years of fundraising and planning, the work is beginning on the $1.5 Million project. It’s nearly completely funded, with $150,000 to go.

“I think the wonderful thing about a garden, why the board is so excited with bringing this vision to Kearney, is that a garden is truly accessible to all,” Foundation Board Chair Jon Watts said. “So regardless of your abilities or your walk in life from a toddler to elderly, all are going to be able to walk on these paths.”

The foundation is also growing their endowment to help support the city of Kearney with the upkeep once they take control of the garden after construction is complete.

“The vision for the botanical garden is like nothing you will see between Omaha and Denver for sure and probably in the Midwest,” Watts said. “We want to have a really beautiful spot that supports education and outreach in our community.”

Kearney has already made plans to hire an horticulturist and other employees to care for the garden. The foundation is making plans with UNK and other local schools to use the garden for educational purposes.

Construction on phase one is anticipated to be complete by the summer of 2021. The foundation said they hope when people see the first garden completed that they’ll want to invest in the second phase that will add even more gardens.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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