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Lower Loup NRD Arboretum

While you are stopped, learn about: The Blizzard of 1888

Ord, Nebraska; Valley County

The Lower Loup NRD Arboretum is located just south of the Lower Loup NRD Headquarters at 2620 Airport Drive in Ord.  The Arboretum features 60 varieties of trees and shrubs including skunkbrush sumac, tulip tree, Kentucky coffee tree, quaking aspen, sugar maple, highbush cranberry, swamp white oak, and the locally native Taylor juniper. The east side of the Arboretum features a small, secluded wetland. A picnic table is located on the north side of the Arboretum in a particularly scenic spot. The Ord Hike/Bike trail meets the Lower Loup NRD trail at the southeast corner of the Arboretum. In addition to its pleasing scenery, habitat value, and recreational attributes, the Lower Loup NRD Arboretum showcases plantings that do well in this part of Nebraska.

The arboretum and trail are used almost every day by walkers, joggers, and bicyclists. Dozens of bird species have been recorded in the arboretum’s grassland, windbreaks, thickets, and wetland habitats. Some of these include American goldfinch, house finch, yellow-headed blackbird, Cooper’s hawk, Baltimore oriole, northern cardinal, house wren, chipping sparrow, cedar waxwing, and many more. Visitors documented more than 600 birds from the Lower Loup NRD Arboretum during the 2023 Great Backyard Bird Count. Its location on the edge of the community of Ord makes the Lower Loup NRD Arboretum valuable to wildlife and to people seeking relaxation and recreation. To educate visitors, the Lower Loup NRD has created an interactive map to the tree and shrub species planted in the LLNRD Arboretum.

Check out the interactive arboretum tree map.








While you are stopped, learn about: The Blizzard of 1888

On Janury12, 1888 Nebraska experienced a brutal blizzard that brought temperatures plummeting to 30 to 40 degrees below zero. The storm brough howling winds and lasted forever 12 hours. Unfortunately, many children were at school during the storm and stranded away from home. This put their safety at risk. However, Minnie Freeman, a teenage teacher, became a symbol of heroism when she led her students through the storm to a nearby farmhouse after their sod schoolhouse’s roof was torn off by the strong winds. Many other teachers also performed similar heroic acts, but at least one lost her life. The storm’s death toll is estimated to be between 40 to 100.



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