History of the Nebraska Herbal Society

Interest in herbs in the Lincoln area began in the early 70’s when Louise Evans Doole of the NE Farmer magazine published a pamphlet on the subject. She died soon after and her husband donated her herb plants to the Chet Agar Nature Center in Pioneers Park.

Edna Shields, Lifetime NHS Member, was working at the Nature Center at that time with Dr. Esther Bennet, Nature Center Director. She reports that volunteer, Louise Damke, dug sod and spaded up an area near the Center in order to preserve Dr. Doole’s gift. Dr. Bennett contacted Dr. Emil Pierson, horticulturist at UNL and director of Nebraska Arboretum, for advice on the fledgling garden. This turned into a small meeting of persons interested in herbs… and became NE Herbal Society of Lincoln.

The first official meeting was January 31, 1977 with seven persons in attendance. Dr. Pierson became the first president. Other founding members included: Dr. Bennett; Edna Shields; Cecily Best; Mrs. Damke; Lavern Rush; and Hazel Schreiber. A pamphlet, a gift of plants, a volunteer, a garden plot, Lincolnites who grew herbs and eventually, some professionals who wanted to propagate a few herbs … put it all together and you have today’s thriving Louise Evans Doole garden plus a thriving NE Herbal Society of Lincoln celebrating over 30 years of growth and education in how to plant, harvest and use herbs.

NE Herbal Society of Lincoln celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007!