Soon after newlyweds Julius Sterling and Caroline Morton staked their Nebraska City land claim in 1854, they realized how much they missed the lush treescape of their former home in New York. Even more homesickness-inducing was that, in the bustling nexus of adventurers, homesteaders and profiteers that was the Midwest of the time, the sense of community was as featureless as the windswept landscape.
But J. Sterling -- journalist, statesman and outspoken nature lover -- passionately believed in the power of planting. If he could just get local folk to gather around the park -- after building one, that is -- he was sure that the benefits of nature-based community involvement would flower. Read full article