Omaha Public Power District developed a teaching arboretum adjacent to a substation, with a goal of educating homeowners and business owners on how to select the right plant for the right place. Through the utility company’s collections and interpretation, the arboretum educates the public about conflicts between trees and utility lines, how conflicts can be reduced by selecting the right tree, and how increasing the number of trees planted aids in energy conservation.
An interpretive master plan and exhibit concepts were developed by Big Muddy Studio for the arboretum. A coding system was designed as part of the plant identification signage, to indicate whether a tree was safe to plant under a power line, to be planted a small distance from the line, or to be avoided near power lines. OPPD’s communications department developed the final exhibits, closely following the concepts.