Mayor Coleen J. Seng and representatives of the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation today announced that more than $1 million has been raised for the Sunken Gardens Renovation Project. Nearly 70 percent of that total is from private donations, and the campaign is now more than halfway to its goal of $1.7 million. The campaign called “Polishing the Gem: Preserving Our National Treasure” will fund the first major renovation of the Gardens in its 73-year history.
“The aging infrastructure at the Sunken Gardens is creating safety concerns, limiting accessibility and increasing maintenance,” said Mayor Seng. “The renovation is necessary in order for us to preserve this treasure for future generations. I want to thank the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation for doing an excellent job leading the campaign to renovate one of the public’s favorite park areas in our City.”
The renovation of the Gardens at 27th Street and Capitol Parkway will include a new handicapped-accessible entrance, a restored cascading water feature, restrooms, maintenance storage, renovated lily pools, an automated irrigation system, lighting, an entry pavilion and new sculptural elements.
About $665,000 has been collected from private individuals, businesses and foundations. Major corporate and foundation donors to the campaign at this point are the J.C. Seacrest Trust; Rotary International (Downtown and East); the Winnett Trust; the Ameritas Charitable Foundation; Campbell Nurseries; the Rogers Foundation; Union Bank; the Abel Foundation; the TierOne Bank Foundation; and the Pegler Foundation. The City has committed $200,000 of keno funds and $159,000 of in-kind contributions to the project.
“The Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation wants to thank all of the generous donors who have stepped up to the plate and graciously helped us reach the one million dollar mark,” said Foundation President Clancy Woolman. “While we still need to raise $700,000 to reach our goal, we are confident that the community’s generosity will help us attract the needed funding to restore the beauty to this 73-year-old gem.”
Co-Chairing the campaign for the Foundation are Mike Seacrest and Roger and JeNeane Dodson. They hope to complete the campaign this year and begin construction in 2004. The renovated Garden would be unveiled in the spring of 2005. Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson said the City has selected the Clark Enersen Partners to complete the renovation design.
More information is available on the campaign web site, www.lincolnsunkengardens.com, which can also be reached from the City web site, www.lincoln.ne.gov. Tax-deductible contributions can be sent to the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation, 2740 “A” Street, Lincoln, NE 68502.