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2011.07.06 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@unomaha.edu

Teens to Clean, Wash, Massive Locomotives at Lauritzen Gardens

Omaha - High school students taking part in the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) SummerWorks program will spend Thursday, July 7, at Lauritzen Gardens, but they won’t be mowing, weeding or gardening. Their project will be more like a car wash . . . an extremely big car wash.

The SummerWorks students will work alongside Lauritzen Gardens volunteers and staff as they clean two mammoth locomotives -- Big Boy No. 4023 and Centennial No. 6900. Training will begin at 9:30 a.m. with cleaning expected to be completed by 2:30 p.m. Participants will be using ladders and scrub brushes to give the locomotives a thorough foam bath. (Rain date will be July 12.)Centennial and Big Boy are each more than 10 feet in width, 16 feet high and weigh tons.

Exteriors of the locomotives will be cleaned along with the cab of Big Boy. Locomotives such as Big Boy and Centennial were not designed to sit in parks as they do today. For this reason, it is vital that the locomotives are cleaned and maintained in an effort to preserve their outer appearance for as long as possible.

Kenefick Park, where the locomotives are located, is within Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s Botanical Center. Centennial and Big Boy sit at the southwest point of the property, and both are highly visible to motorists on Interstate 80. Centennial No. 6900 is the largest and most powerful diesel-electric locomotive ever built. Big Boy No. 4023 is the world’s largest steam locomotive.

The UNO SummerWorks program is managed by UNO’s Service Learning Academy. The program recruits Omaha high school students, ages 15 to 18, to gain work experience, learn new skills, build their resume’s and explore Omaha.

Lauritzen Gardens is a unique destination in the region. This 100-acre botanical garden comprised of several outdoor garden areas, creates a living museum of unique four-season plant displays, maintained to the highest standards consistent with environmental stewardship. Lauritzen Gardens is located near the Henry Doorly Zoo at First and Bancroft streets. For more information, visit www.lauritzengardens.org. .

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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