Date of this Version
From PROCEEDINGS OF NEBRASKA STATE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE FOR 1903, ed. Robert Furnas, Lincoln, Neb., 1904. Pp. 82-88.
Last summer I had the privilege of visiting a number of botanical gardens and parks in different parts of Europe. The American visitor abroad is constantly reminded of the abundance of parks and botanical gardens in not only the larger cities but even in the small cities and towns. Hyde Park, Regent's Park, St. James Park and Green Park, London; Kew Gardens; Thiergarten, Berlin; Prater Park, Vienna; Moscow; Kislovodsk; Vladikavkaz, Tiflis; Erivan; Batum; Odessa.
Coming now to our own city of Lincoln, a city which has many things about it which are very attractive, one'is made to drop his head in shame that we have no parks. It is true that four blocks of land, between D and F and 6th and 8th streets were originally set apart and labelled "City Park," but this is scarcely more than a "common," for here cattle and horses and swine are permitted to-roam at large, For years this has been a reproach to the city. All that is good in it we owe to the private efforts of the public spirited women of the city, and yet year by year their efforts have been largely negatived by the utter lack of public spirit shown by our officials. This little tract of land was not fitted by nature for park purposes, and yet it has been made less useful by its absolute neglect.
We must preach a reformation. It is not to our credit that this city has no breathing place in it. We must have not one alone, but several public grounds where children may play, where people may gather, where they may sit and rest in the cool of the evenings of the hot days of summer. Why can we not set aside in the Antelope Valley a tract of land on which we may erect a proper Lincoln Park worthy of our city? Such a park would be central, such a park could be visited by the great majority of the people of the city. Is it not worth our while to consider matters of this kind.
Finally, is it too much to hope that within a short time the University may establish a botanical garden where may be gathered all of the native plants of the state, all of the plants which may be made to grow in this region, where .every plant grown shall be labelled so that the visitor as he passes through the garden may learn not only the -name but the history of the plant as well. Such a garden may be a place of beauty and of interest and at the same time it may have a high educational value for the people of the state.