Omaha woman on a mission to renovate underutilized park on her own

An Omaha woman is on a mission to revitalize her neighborhood park -- many don't even realize it's there.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 6:55 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - If you’re near the Parkside neighborhood in West Omaha and walk Pine Street and 141st Circle Drive, you probably haven’t noticed a hidden park called Parkside South.

As you get up close, it’s not really clear whether it has playground equipment or gym equipment.

“It’s in between houses and it’s not easily seen from the streets.”

Bryn Knobbe has lived near Parkside for 14 years and says the place doesn’t get a lot of use.

“One of the concerns for us is that the structures are pretty high. One of the areas is over eight feet in height,” Knobbe said.

You can tell the park hasn’t been utilized over the years from the rust on the poles and graffiti all over the equipment.

“It’s such a shame, this is such an underutilized park in such a beautiful part of the neighborhood and I’ve just always thought we could do something better of this,” Knobbe said.

That’s exactly what Knobbe did. In 2021, she reached out to the city to make a change and with the help of the Omaha Parks Foundation, she got the green light to start.

While the park isn’t in bad shape, Omaha Parks Executive Director Tiffany Regan holds it doesn’t meet the community’s needs.

“We were able to connect Bryn with the city and she proposed some improvements to make the park more useable and attract people to it,” Regan said.

From lemonade stands to car washes, Knobbe has been fundraising for a year and has gathered about $8,000 of her $43,000 goal to put in a new playground.

She still has a long way to go, but she’s remaining hopeful.

“It’s an opportunity to show our children you can see a problem and you can make a difference,” Knobbe said.

If you’re interested in helping out you can donate here.