Omaha – It was a special year for UNO in 2013 with countless events, achievements, special guest visits and national recognitions for students, faculty, staff and alumni.
The year was also the culmination of a year-long project to turn a donated barn and silo into a first-class research facilty for UNO's Department of Biology.
In early 2012, the former 19th-century family farm buildings were moved to Glacier Creek, which is part of the Allwine Prairie Preserve northwest of Omaha, near Bennington. Flash foward to September of this year when the barn was dedicated as UNO's newest research space, to be used for research including plant and animal surveys; the effects of burning and mowing on plant communities like insects and small mammals; physiological and feeding behavior of certain bird species; and the effects of restoration on soil.
The barn previously belonged to the family of Barbi Hayes, whose great-grandfather built barn in the 1870s. Hayes was also instrumental in funding the refurbishing of the barn into a state-of-the-art research center.
The Glacier Creek Preserve is a 320-acre space dominated by restored tallgrass prairie, stream woodlands and seep habitats. The space is a collection of three previously distinct land tracts: The Allwine Prarie Preserve, a 160 acre tract donated to UNO by Arthur and Anoinette Allwine in 1959; the Papio tract, an 83 acre tract donated in 2010; and the North Viewshed tract, a 76 acre tract purchased in 2013 with the help of Barbi Hayes, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District.
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