Omaha’s Botanical Center, Lauritzen Gardens, is located on the eastern side of Omaha on a site of natural woods and rolling terraces which overlooks the Missouri River Valley. The 100 acre site contains a variety of natural and man-made habitats including sandsage shrubland, a marsh, and hardwood forest. The site is open to the public year-round from 9 am till 5 pm but stays open till 8 pm from mid-May till mid-September. There is a 32,000 square foot Visitor Center which includes a gift shop, classrooms and a large display area. Restrooms and handicap services are available. An admission fee is charged for using the site.
Educational classes and walks are offered throughout the year. Birders will be especially interested in the Woodland Trail, which winds through a hardwood forest area with two hilltop lookouts, and the Oberman Bird Sanctuary which has seven regional plant communities and demonstrates how to attract and identify Midwestern birds. Lauritzen Gardens opened to the public in the fall of 2005 and therefore is still a work in progress.