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Omaha making up for lost time with park projects

WOWT Live at 10
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 11:03 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Things are getting busy at city parks around Omaha, and we’re not talking about playgrounds, we’re talking about projects.

“We’ve got playgrounds going in this year, we’ve got spraygrounds going in this year, we’ve got trails going in this year,” said Matt Kalcevich, director of Omaha Parks, Recreation and Public Property. “Its just exciting that these are some things people are going to be able to see and use.”

Between 50 and 75 projects are underway, from replacing damaged concrete to master planning, and more in-between.

“We’re playing a little bit of catch up in the time we’ve just come out of and so one of the spraygrounds that was down last year, Morton sprayground in the south part of the city, is going to be getting a fresh rubber surface that will reactivate that facility,” Kalcevich said. “We know when the days get hot, we know how precious those spaces are for people to cool off, especially youth.”

Other projects are the product of planning, to bring what’s needed to neighborhoods that are home to places like Schroeder Vogel Park and Grace Young Park.

“The neighborhoods were involved,” Kalcevich said. “They gave us some feedback and input and we just took a quick assessment and survey of what’s available, and in those two instances, removing those two facility shelters that were really not in use anymore opened up a landscape and a visual in the park and we’ve got more green space we’re able to develop now, it’s almost like a new space.”

An area that has seen major work completed, with more ongoing, is Tranquility Park along 120th Street from W. Maple Rd. to Fort Street, covering more than 370 acres.

Construction on 120th continues, but the road is again open, with a new bridge in place, all to make way for increased traffic to the ball fields, tennis courts, ice skating rink and more. There are other parks in close proximity as well.

“You go the other side across Maple and you’ve got Heflinger there with the BMX and the dog parks and you’ve got cricket groups, and you go north of us here and you’ve got the Kelly Complex, that’s just buzzing this time of year with adult activity.”

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