Lied Lodge at Arbor Day Farm

Nebraska is home to Arbor Day Farm, where the Arbor Day Foundation’s mission to inspire people to plant and nurture trees is observed and celebrated.

The property in Nebraska City, Nebraska, features Lied Lodge, a hotel and conference and event center with 140 guest rooms, scenic views, and several offerings. Arbor Day Farm wanted to add amenities to Lied Lodge, and turned to Olsson Studio to provide design, construction documents, and construction administration for the new additions and amenities. 

We designed a new council ring with custom firepit and gathering area with expanded lawn and terraced walls to support larger weddings. We also designed a trail through existing hazelnut trees that features a second smaller council ring, that leads to a new restroom building and parking for a new wedding venue in the forest. The project also included extensive lighting, as well as an elevated black locust boardwalk in a circular blossom shape. The center of boardwalk features flagstone pavers for a natural and organic hardscape surface.

This project required a substantial amount of engineering, so we relied on Olsson’s civil and structural teams to provide detailing and recommendations. Lied Lodge operates with sustainability in mind and focuses on minimizing its impact by being environmentally conscious. Significant planning was involved to preserve the site during design and construction. Our designs are sensitive to the environment and create the least amount of disturbance to the existing trees and soil.

Specialty construction techniques were applied to keep the area protected throughout construction. Reclaimed materials from old retaining walls on the previous wedding lawn were repurposed for curbing in the parking lot and additional accent walls. The black locust boardwalk was built on minimally invasive ground screws and its flagstone pavers were installed with a structural load support grid underneath that is permeable, giving it a rigid foundation type. 

Kayla Meyer
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