Arboretum

A group takes a tour of the Longview Arboretum and Nature Center construction project in late May.

The grand opening date for the Longview Arboretum and Nature Center has been pushed back several weeks because of what foundation board members said are “unforeseen construction delays.”

The foundation’s first executive director will start his duties next month, however.

The grand opening, billed as an “admission-free exploration” and “official blooming” now is scheduled 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Nov. 2 at the arboretum, 706 W. Cotton St. The event includes a grand opening program with local dignitaries, donors and construction crews at 11:30 a.m.

The grand opening had been set in mid-October.

On Oct. 2, Steven Chamblee will take over as arboretum executive director, foundation spokesperson Kimberly Fish said Tuesday.

Chamblee’s background includes time as a horticulturist for Chandor Gardens in Weatherford. According to a July 9 report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Chamblee formerly worked for the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, where he served first as a gardener, then grounds manager and later education director.

Chamblee received a fellowship in the prestigious Longwood Graduate Program and earned a Master of Science degree in public horticulture administration from the University of Delaware, according to the Star-Telegram.

A phone receptionist for Chandor Gardens said Chamblee left the city of Weatherford-owned facility because he accepted the job in Longview.