Fountains, but no landscape

By Kristin Smith-Ely

Officials raising state for landscaping to complete Nebraska State Capitol courtyard.

Former Nebraska state legislators are leading the charge to raise funds to complete a project at the state Capitol Building in Lincoln. According to an article in the Lincoln Journal Star, the same group raised $3.1 million for four courtyard fountains to be built last fall. Now they are seeking another $1.4 million to finish the project, complete with landscaping inside the courtyards.

The campaign will provide funds to install an irrigation and drainage system and plantings, and create an endowment for ongoing care and maintenance, the article states. The $1 million endowment is designed to ensure the gardens are taken care of forever and not abandoned as they reportedly were during the 1960s due to a lack of resources. Legislation to create an endowment fund specifically for the courtyards will be introduced in the 2019 session.

Ernst H. Herminghaus was selected create the landscape plan for the four courtyards. The design will reflect the variety of color and pattern of the building’s interior. Each courtyard will have distinctly different color pallets and unique plants.

The Capitol landscape, which includes the courtyards and the exterior landscape, is a part of the Nebraska State Capitol’s official designation as a National Historic Landmark, according to the Lincoln Star Journal article.

Once the courtyards are complete, it is expected to draw more visitors to the Capitol Building.