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Tucked in northwest Omaha, near 108th and Blondo Streets, is a hidden gem of a park. At first glance, it appears to simply be a beautiful greenspace filled with trees, plants, a gazebo, and walking trails. But if you make the effort to explore the space, you’ll find it’s actually designed for teaching visitors how electricity can work safely among vegetation.

Take a Walk in the Park - And Learn!

The OPPD Arboretum opened in 2004 and has since become a popular destination for people wanting to enjoy a beautiful nature walk and is a popular photo-op location for senior pictures, weddings, and other special occasions. The park encompasses 26 acres, and features gorgeous greenery, including a small pollinator garden. Signs throughout the park provide explanations of different plants, and what they’ll look like at maturity.

But that’s not where the educational elements of this park end! Follow the paved trail to our Substation Overlook to get a good view of the Blondo Street Substation. Signs on the knoll call out different parts of the substation and explain how each part functions.

The various gardens and collections showcase benefits of planting different types of vegetation. The formal garden can help you learn what types of trees or shrubs are suitable for planting in this geographical region. Our woodlands path showcases a variety of mature trees, and the three principal layers of a woodland forest. The conifer collection highlights the benefits of planting evergreens on your property. There are collections of plants that attract wildlife, plants that prevent erosion, and plants that thrive along the edge of rivers. There is even a collection of historical trees that were grown from seeds and grafts obtained from historical sites throughout the country.

One of the most important features of this park is the information about electrical safety and plants. The arboretum features examples of proper planting near electrical equipment (like padmount transformers, the green utility boxes) and the types of shrubs and trees that are safe to plant adjacent to power lines.