Doane College Osterhout Arboretum

1014 Boswell
Crete, NE 68333


This 300-acre campus, which features wooded rolling hills, open green spaces, and bodies of water, provides an intrinsic setting for more than 160 species of trees and shrubs, and a wide variety of flowering plants and bushes, including flora such as Exbury Azalea, Star Magnolia, and Flowering Dogwood. Most of the campus landscape design plan is reminiscent of the "English Cottage" style. Winding paths through century-old tree groves, naturalized areas of daylilies, daffodils, peonies and manicured flowerbeds, connect buildings, an outdoor challenge course and other campus activity centers. Students, community residents, and visitors also may utilize several nature and fitness trails which crisscross the scenic campus. Buildings, interesting bridges, an historic pergola, outdoor amphitheatre, and an array of wildlife complement the natural and stylized spaces. Burlington Missouri River Rail road builder Thomas Doane, an acquaintance of J. Sterling Morton, founded the college in 1872, and was responsible for the earliest plantings on the young college's barren hilltop site. Doane, a horticulturist by avocation, corresponded with Morton on several occasions regarding tree species, and also worked closely with local innovative pioneer nurseryman Ezra F. Stephens on the forestation of the campus.

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