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Every year, Parks and Recreation is involved in the planning, design and construction of many different types of projects in our parks and facilities.  We’ve partnered with other federal, state and local agencies as well as private neighborhood and community groups on projects such as

  • Park master plans
  • Park and median landscaping
  • Park and recreation facility construction and renovation
  • Storm water quality improvements

Future Projects

south haymarket

South Haymarket Park

The park, southwest of 7th and "N" streets, will include a playground and festival space, a dog park, play courts and other amenities. The park will also include a trail connection between "N" and "J" streets, providing a vital link between downtown and the trail system to the south. A new public plaza on the south end of Canopy Street will provide gathering spaces and include a proposed signature public artwork. The Parks and Recreation Department will seek community input on the preliminary design for the new park and plaza area this summer.

What would you like to see in the space? What type of activities would bring you to the space? Share your thoughts through the survey that is on the South Haymarket Park project page.

cascade fountain

Bicentennial Cascade Fountain

The Cascade Fountain has been at the corner of 27th street and Capitol Parkway since 1978. It is the result of a collaboration between the Lincoln Area Retired Teachers Association (now Lincoln Area Retired School Personnel) and Lincoln Parks and Recreation to commemorate the nation's Bicentennial. The fountain is now in a need of major renovation to keep it operating.

Irivng Stransky rudge parks

Irvingdale, Stransky, Rudge Memorial Parks

Irvingdale, Stransky and Rudge Memorial Parks are beautiful, contiguous historic parks located in the heart of Lincoln. The parks stretch from 14th and Lake Streets to 20th and Van Dorn Streets and are surrounded by some of Lincoln’s oldest neighborhoods, providing green space and recreational opportunities to neighborhood residents. Our vision is to implement a comprehensive master plan developed for complimentary and cohesive renovation and improvement efforts for all three parks. Specific projects include renovating existing and age playgrounds, improving under-utilized park areas, constructing stream channel stabilization measures, replacing park infrastructure, building a connecting trail corridor and adding new amenities to increase recreational opportunities in this under-served, dense area in the core of the city.

Recent Projects

10-Year Facilities Plan

Update in the 2018 Annual Report During the summer and fall of 2019, Planning & Construction staff will be updating the Department’s 10-Year Facilities Plan. This effort includes a review off all facilities for anticipated repair/replacement/renewal needs along with identification of new recreational facilities to meet community growth demands. The Plan is updated every two years to serve as a guide to staff regarding investments in parks and recreation facilities over the next decade and for preparation of the Department’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP).

In 2017, the Plan identified a gap in the amount funding needed to address annual repair, replacement and renewal needs ($3.0M) versus the amount of funding currently available to the Department’s CIP ($2.15M in the 2017-18 fiscal year).

For similar purposes, a 10-Year Facilities Plan will be updated in 2019 for the Municipal Golf Program as well. The 2017 Plan showed that approximately 25% of the funding needed for annual repair, replacement and renewal of golf infrastructure was being generated through the program’s revenue sources.

Prairie Corridor on Haines Branch

The Prairie Corridor on Haines Branch is a tallgrass prairie passage and trail that will build on our nationally recognized trail and greenway system and will link two of Lincoln and Lancaster County’s premier environmental resource and education centers. It will follow the Haines Branch of Salt Creek from the Pioneers Park Nature Center, to the Conestoga Lake State Recreation Area, extend down through the Village of Denton and on to the Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center. The Corridor will support economic development, build on Lincoln’s nationally recognized trail system, support environmental education and promote the enhancement and preservation of one of Nebraska’s most valuable resources–tallgrass prairie.

For more information about this project, visit

Major Projects: Parks & Trails Renovation

  • Playground Renovations: at Cripple Creek, Seacrest and Taylor Parks. The playground equipment in these three parks was in excess of 20 years old thereby exceeding its industry standard anticipated life span. These playground also did not meet current guidelines for safety and/or ADA accessibility standards. Renovation efforts included removal of the existing playground and the installation of new playground surfacing and equipment utilizing designs adapted to each park site for consideration for park usage, accessibility, and visibility and maintenance practices.

  • Belmont Park Picnic Shelter: A new covered shelter was constructed in Belmont Park to serve as an outdoor classroom for Belmont School, Community Learning Center and Recreation Center as well as provide a shaded picnic shelter for all park visitors. The shelter includes a metal roof/columned structure, concrete floor and multiple picnic tables. The project was a cooperative effort with the Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln as an outgrowth of its Street Alive! Annual outdoor movement festival.

  • Dog Runs: Three additional dog run facilities were opened for public use in 2017. In a cooperative effort with the Lincoln Parks Foundation and the Friends of the Dog Parks, enhancements were constructed in all four dogs – Rickman’s Run and Holmes Lake Park, Stransky Dog Run at Peterson Park, Money Park Dog Run and Roper Park East Dog Run. Enhancements included concrete walks, drinking fountains, shade structures, benches and a rinse station at the Stransky location.

  • Veterans Memorial Garden: Installation of the Gold Star Families Memorial. The Nebraska Gold Star Family Memorial Monument honoring the families of those who lost loves ones in the U.S. Armed Forces during the last 150 years was constructed in Antelope Park and dedicated on September 24th, 2017. The Monument was jointly funded by the Lincoln Community Foundation, Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, The City of Lincoln, The Clark Enersen Partners, Nebraska Gold Star Wives – Omaha Chapter, Rixstine Recognition and Sampson Construction Company, Inc.

  • Veterans Memorial Garden: New Monuments. Two memorial monuments were added to the Veterans Memorial Garden in Antelope Park during the last year. The Post 9/11 Monument, constructed of black granite, recognizes the many Nebraskans from all branches of the US Military who sacrificed their lives for our security during the global war on terrorism since the World Trade Center attack in 2001. The Doolittle Raiders Monument honors a mission conducted as part of World War II in retaliation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was headed by James "Jimmy" Doolittle and included 80 men, two of which were from Lincoln, Nebraska - Donald E. Fitzmaurice and Richard O. Joyce.

Major Projects: Parks Master Plans

  • Irivng Stransky Rudge parks
  • Cooper Park Renovation Master Plan: Cooper Park is Lincoln’s oldest public park. While many improvements: have been made to the park during its 150 year history, several of its current amenities are in need of repair/replacement/renewal. With input from representatives of the South Salt Creek Neighborhood and NeighborWorks, a park master plan was developed to guide future renovation efforts and phased park improvements intended to increase its usage as a neighborhood gathering space and outdoor recreational facility. While funding has been secured to move forward with several items identified in the plan, some of the more extensive items are envisioned to be completed over time as funding is identified.
  • Download the Cooper Park Master Plan.

  • Schroder Park Reconfiguration Master Plan: Schroder Park is being reconfigured in conjunction with the renovation of the Willard Community Center and construction of the new Mourning Hope Grief Center, both located immediately adjacent to the park. A park master plan was developed to guide park improvements to serve the surrounding neighborhood and support uses associated with these adjacent facilities. Standard neighborhood park improvements identified in the plan will be constructed in 2019 while construction of additional park enhancements will be depend on the availability of future funding.

Major Projects: Trails Renovation

  • Murdock Trail: between 56th and 70th Streets. Since its construction, the Murdock Trail has had an 8-foot wide crushed limestone surface from 56th to its terminus near 112th Street. The limestone has provided a softer surface more desirable to many users, runners in particular. However, this surface can be muddy in wet conditions and cannot be cleared of snow, reducing its accessibility for a portion of the year. The renovation was the first of its kind in Lincoln as it provides an accessible, 9-foot wide concrete trail, while maintaining an adjacent 5-foot wide limestone surface for those who prefer the shock absorbing quality it provides. This section of trail will be monitored over the upcoming years for its sustainability as well as its potential for use in other parts of the City to increase trail capacity without significant increase to maintenance requirements.
  • Jamaica Trail Rehabilitation: Extreme flooding of Salt Creek in 2015 caused significant damage to a majority of the Jamaica Trail. After working through the processes to receive federal funding support for disaster repairs, restoration of the Jamaica Trail was initiated in 2016 and sections of the trail reopened for public use as these restoration efforts were completed.
  • Pioneers Park Trail Extension :The hard surfaced trail through the eastern portion of Pioneers Park has been replaced in multiple phases over the last several years. In 2016 the trail was extended from the center of the park to the western end of the park. This extension included a new pedestrian bridge across the Haines Branch.

Major Projects: Specialty Projects and Programs

  • Emerald Ash Borer Response and Recovery Plan The City Council adopted the Emerald Ash Borer Response and Recovery Plan for Lincoln in 2018 after the plan was reviewed and recommended by the Community Forestry Advisory Board. Visit for more information.

    Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB, is an invasive beetle that was introduced to the United States in the 1990’s. EAB infests and kills all varieties of ash trees. The area that is affected by has grown to include 28 states included Nebraska. EAB was identified in Lincoln in a trap in August 2018 and within a tree canopy in April 2019.

    The EAB response and recovery plan phases the removal of 14,000 public ash trees along streets and in parks and golf courses over a 15-year period. A diverse mix of new trees will be planted to replace these. Parks and Recreation Department staff are working with neighborhood groups, homeowners associations and individuals to plan removal of ash trees and replanting of replacement trees. Residents interested in discussing planning for removal and replacement of ash street trees are encouraged to phone the Parks and Recreation Department at (402) 441-7847.

    Some homeowners may wish to voluntarily treat ash street trees in their neighborhood. Residents may apply for a no-cost permit to treat a street tree by contacting the Parks and Recreation Department at (402) 441-7847. Ash street trees being considered for treatment should be in healthy condition and not located under overhead utility lines. The preferred method of treatment is trunk injection of an approved systemic insecticide by a licensed arborist.