First National Bank of Omaha is helping the city replace a portion of the 2,000 trees lost at NP Dodge Park after the flood of 2011.
The park has made a donation of $10,000 to restore the entrance. The donation through the Omaha Parks Foundation "Plant a Tree, Grow a Legacy" program has enabled the Parks Department to design and landscape the entry area which was severely damaged by the Missouri River flood.
After 102 days underwater, the tree damage was significant and so far 80 trees have been restored in the park. Forty-five trees were planted as a result of First National Bank's contributions.
“We're hoping that First National Bank can very much be the lead on this and I'm going to ask a lot of other companies if they'll try to help us out,” said First National’s Dennis O’Neal, who feels the park is an Omaha landmark and that's why it needs to be restored.
Nate Dodge, whose family donated NP Dodge Park generations ago, says the devastation won't be forgotten. "I brought my kids down here to show them what that's like and I remember they were struck by it wasn't just a park that was hurt, it was people's lives and it was people's businesses and again, for First National to lead the way in rebuilding the community and bring us into whatever's next is really incredible."
The trees which will be planted include a grove of Aspen, Serviceberry, Hackberry, Black Chokeberry and Grow Low Sumac.
Additional plantings in the area include the species of trees proven to survive the severe flood conditions of 2011. Those include Swamp White Oak, Hackberry, Honey Locust, Bald Cypress, American Hornbeam and Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry.