LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - The Longview Arboretum has been in the works since 2012, and there has been a groundbreaking, but real construction on the arboretum is about to begin. The land for the project is just off Cotton Street next to the Maude Cobb Activity Complex.
Robert Metzler, President of the Longview Arboretum Nature Center, says that an Arboretum is not just a typical park.
"Most people, when they think about a park, think about a place where they play baseball and soccer; sports complex. This is not that. It is a garden," Metzler explained.
It will be a 26-acre garden, a sort of nature preserve in the city limits of Longview, complete with small forests, trails, gardens and waterways. But it's had a few glitches along the way.
"We did slow down when we were getting our agreement written and approved by the city," Metzler said.
Now that they have the maintenance and operation figured out, construction is about to begin.
"We'll be receiving bids for the work March 28. We hope to have construction started within 30 days after that," Metzler said.
They have raised $1.7 million of the $2.5 million budget for phase one. About 15 years ago a man named: "Dencil Marsh, came up with the idea," Metzler relayed.
He leased the property from the city and tried to do it privately, but:
"He became ill and passed away, so the city took that property back," Metzler said.
But there were many who picked up the reigns and pushed forward and now the project includes a building for a welcome center. Metzler says the Dallas Arboretum is a popular location for weddings and more.
"This project that we feel will meet the needs of a lot of the community all the way from the youngster to the grandparent," Metzler added.
Metzler says the Arboretum is scheduled to be complete by April of 2019, but if you're in the area, it sounds like the birds are already pretty happy with it.
If you'd like to know more about the Longview Arboretum click here.