Lauritzen Gardens is adding a $20 million conservatory.
When the 20,000 square-foot conservatory is complete, it’ll be a greenhouse for plants that wouldn’t normally grow in Nebraska’s climate.
Executive director Spencer Crews says the conservatory is part of Lauritzen’s mission to provide an understanding and appreciation of the environment.
"Folks think about plants as garden plants or as food plants, our morning cereal and our bread in the evening. But plants go so much further beyond that because of the fossil fuels that we all depend on, most of our electricity is from fossil fuels that we’ve generated from deposits that were all attributed to plants. So without plants, none of us would be here on the earth."
The conservatory will be divided in to three environments. One will feature plants typically found in the southeastern U.S. The second will be a tropical environment, with plants native to rainforests and areas near the equator. Crews says the third space will be a gallery where Lauritzen can feature different plants or gardens.
The project’s total cost is $31.5 million. It’s scheduled for completion in November 2014.