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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2006 Media Releases

April 20, 2006
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Lynn Johnson, Parks and Recreation, 441-8265

Local businessman makes generous initial donation

Mayor Coleen J. Seng today kicked off a campaign to raise $350,000 to renovate Lincoln’s municipal rose garden on the east side of 27th Street in Antelope Park. She also thanked Don Hamann, owner of Sartor Hamann Jewelers, for his generous personal contribution of $108,000 to the campaign. The Mayor and Hamann were joined by representatives of the Lincoln Rose Society and the Lincoln Parks Foundation in making the announcement in the newly renovated Sunken Gardens at 27th Street and Capitol Parkway.

“The outstanding renovation of the Sunken Gardens demonstrates what can be accomplished with a community campaign, and I look forward to seeing a similar rejuvenation of the rose garden,” said Mayor Seng. The residents of Lincoln have made it clear that they treasure their parks and gardens. I want to thank Don for his generous donation and the Lincoln Rose Society and the Lincoln Parks Foundation for their support of this campaign.”

“I want to give something special to the citizens of Lincoln,” said Hamann, a long-time member of the Lincoln Rose Society and an avid rose grower. “Sunken Gardens is a gem. The renovated rose garden will become the second gem in the setting.”

The Lincoln Rose Society is leading the fund-raising effort. The Lincoln Parks Foundation is providing administrative support, managing donated funds and contributing $15,000 to the project. The Parks and Recreation Department will coordinate construction of the renovations.

“The Lincoln Rose Society is committed to promoting growing roses through education and display of roses,” said Normalee Stadler, President of the Lincoln Rose Society and member of the fund-raising committee. “We are very pleased to be leading the effort to raise funds for renovation of Lincoln’s rose display garden.”

The rose garden renovation is one of eight projects to receive funding from the Lincoln Cares donation program in 2006. The program gives Lincoln Electric System customers an opportunity to voluntarily add one dollar to their bill payments each month for projects not included in the City budget. Lincoln Cares receives matching funds from the TierOne Bank Foundation and World’s Foremost Bank (Cabela’s VISA credit card operation).

Donations for the rose garden can be sent to the Lincoln Parks Foundation, 2740 “A” Street, Box 201, Lincoln, NE 68502. Donations also can be made online at the Foundation’s Web site at For more information on Lincoln Cares, contact the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department at 441-8264 or see the City Web site at (keyword: cares).

Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson said the rose garden renovation is the second project envisioned by the master plan for the Antelope Park Triangle completed in 2002. He said the renovated rose garden will feature a formal display garden of cutting roses and a strolling garden of hardy landscape roses planted with complementing perennials and ornamental grasses.

“We hope that the rose garden is a place where citizens can see the newest award- winning roses and where homeowners can get ideas for including hardy landscape roses in their own gardens,” said Johnson. He said the renovation is expected to begin this summer and be completed in the fall. New roses will be planted in the spring of 2007.

The renovated formal rose garden will display roses of all colors and fragrances, including recent All-American Rose Society (AARS) award-winning roses. When completed, the rose display garden will feature about 1,300 Miniature, Hybrid Tea, Floribunda and Grandiflora roses. Other features will be a fountain with a bronze cherub statue, benches, ornamental lighting, space for artwork, an ornamental west entrance gate, iron fences and a “petite pavilion” with climbing roses at the south entrance.

Lincoln has had a municipal rose garden for nearly 60 years. The first rose garden planted in Antelope Park in the early 1940s was named “Goebel’s Rose Garden” in recognition of Fred Goebel, the first City parks horticulturist and designer of the Sunken Gardens. This garden was chosen to be Nebraska’s first rose test garden in 1945, and roses were planted and observed to determine their ability to thrive and survive in Nebraska’s climate. The rose garden was then expanded, redesigned and renamed as the “Municipal Rose Garden.” In 1972, it was again redesigned into a formal display garden of concentric planting beds still visible today. The Woods Parks Rose Garden was integrated with the Municipal Rose Garden in the mid-1990s.

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