EMERALD ASH BORER (EAB) EPIDEMIC
EAB is an invasive Asian beetle that was first discovered in Michigan in 2002. Since its discovery it has killed billions of ash trees across 24 states and it is currently only 80 miles away from Omaha. Currently Omaha has 11,000 ash trees on city right of ways and maintained park land and an estimated 31,000 in forest areas of city parks alone. EAB could potentially destroy up to 14% of Omaha's tree canopy which is why the Omaha Parks Foundation has partnered with the City of Omaha Forestry Division to help with the recovery of trees lost to EAB. In 2016, 1,794 city trees were removed which included ash trees. Each replacement tree costs about $200.
MEMORIAL PARK ROSE GARDEN ENHANCEMENT
Thanks to a generous donor, a $45,000 upgrade was recently given to the Memorial Park Rose Garden just to the north of the memorial. Additional donations to the OPF currently fund a part-time gardener to work solely on enhancing the Memorial Rose Garden and Colonnade throughout the growing season. The intention is to go above and beyond to honor those who have served our country.
HUMMEL & ADAMS DAY CAMP SCHOLARSHIP
We continue to collect donations to provide scholarships to children in the Omaha community to attend camp. Thanks to a generous donor, 100 local children had the opportunity to attend a week of environmental education and outdoor camp experience at Hummel Nature Center in 2016.
We recognize that safe, well used parks contribute to more interactive and vibrant neighborhoods. Donations help fund renovations and expansions of Omaha parks. In 2016, the Omaha Parks Foundation Playground Initiative contributed over $200,000 towards the renovation of 6 identified parks in need. In addition to this, one OPF donor is funding the expansion of the Elmwood Park Playground. Parks being renovated: Bemis, Benson Lions, Hanscom, Kingswood, Spring Lake, Ta-Ha-Zouka Park, Elmwood (playground expansion, not full renovation).
RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT & OPPORTUNITIES
We work with community centers, parks, and neighborhood associations. Donations can provide special assistance from new balls, furniture, equipment, scholarships, to new parks, paths, and trails. Check out our WISH LIST.
USS OMAHA (SSN 692) MEMORIAL
A design for the USS Omaha (SSN 692) Memorial has been selected and will be built at the southeast entrance to Levi Carter Park, near Eppley Airfield, on Abbot Drive and accessible to the entire metro area. The submarine USS Omaha (SSN 692) served on the front lines of the Cold War from 1978 to 1995. After the submarine had completed its service life, it was decommissioned and dismantled for scrap. The City of Omaha has an opportunity to resurrect the Omaha as a memorial to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and guardsman who served our country, sometimes thanklessly, during the years since the end of the World War II.The most recognizable portions of the USS Omaha (SSN-692), the sail and rudder were reserved for possible use as a memorial to Omaha, Nebraska and Iowa veterans. Several local veteran's organizations have partnered with the City of Omaha and the Omaha Parks Foundations to erect a permanent, memorial display of the decommissioned US Navy submarine USS Omaha (SSN-692).
ELMWOOD CENTENNIAL GOLF TOURNAMENT
2016 marked a very significant milestone for Omaha's beloved Elmwood Golf Course. Exactly 100 years ago, the first ball was teed up and millions of rounds have been played since. To celebrate this significant occasion. the Omaha Parks Foundation hosted the Elmwood Centennial Celebration Golf Tournament. On Saturday, July 30, 2016 the Elmwood Centennial Golf Tournament paid homage to the past with bagpipes, pre WWII cars, and micro brews for golfers to sample throughout the course. After the rounds, participant and family were invited to the post party featuring dinner and live music from Hold On. The event hosted 144 players and SOLD OUT.We thank all of the Hole Sponsors, donators, volunteers, and attendees who raised money to support improvements to Omaha parks, community centers, and recreation facilities.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS PARTNERSHIP
In 2015, the Kansas City Chiefs expanded their Red Friday celebration throughout the Chiefs Kingdom to Omaha. During this event, "This is Chiefs Kingdom" flags are sold at City of Omaha Community Centers, Hy-Vee stores and gas locations for a minimum of $5. All donations and proceeds from Red Friday go to the improvement of Omaha parks. Red Friday is September 9, 2016, and this year's flag sales will benefit the Kerrie Orozco Memorial Ballfield Project.
On July 14, 2016, the Kansas City Chiefs held a Play60 clinic at Miller Park. Play60 is the NFL's national campaign designed to encourage young fans to be active for 60 minutes a day. The Omaha Parks Foundation is proud to partner with the Kansas City Chiefs to promote health and fitness among Omaha's youth. The clinic was followed by a dedication of the ballfield, which was newly renovated using proceeds from Red Thursday 2015. The ballfield will be named for Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco, who coached youth baseball and worked on the Omaha Police gang unit before her death in May 2015.
KOREAN-VIETNAM WAR MEMORIAL STATUE
The OPF has committed a minimum of $10,000 in 2016 to the refurbishment of the Korean-Vietnam War Statue at Memorial Park.
VETERANS SHINE ON
Omaha Parks Foundation partners with the City of Omaha Parks, Recreation, and Public Property department in their annual Veterans Shine On lighting ceremony. Every year, Memorial Park is lit in patriotic colors to shine a light on our nation's veterans and thank them for their service. This year, Omaha Parks Foundation helped pay for the beautiful lights that illuminated the colonnade, as well as the repair of the structure.
RENOVATION OF ALLPLAY PLAYGROUND AT BENSON PARK
Phase II of the $1.2 million dollar AllPlay Benson Park project broke ground on Friday, July 11, 2014. The new 8,500 square foot playground will feature a large play structure with slides, climbers, swings and activity panels. The playground will be fully accessible for children and adults with disabilities with ramps up to the elevated play features and rubber surfacing under the entire playground.
RENOVATION OF SCHROEDER-VOGEL PLAYGROUND AND METCALFE PARK PLAYGROUND
Omaha Parks Foundation worked with the Aksarben-Elmwood Park Neighborhood Association and the City of Omaha to overhaul the outdated play structure and replace it with new equipment, seating, and sunshades.
SOUTH OMAHA TRAIL BENCHES
As part of the first phase of the South Omaha Trail, the Darden Company donated money to the Omaha Parks Foundation to purchase and install two benches to mark the occasion.
NEBRASKA FURNITURE MART BRIDGE
The bridge at Nebraska Furniture Mart was designed and installed with funds donated by NFM to the Omaha Parks Foundation, who then passed the donation on to the city so the project could be completed.
DONATION OF SPORTS EQUIPMENT AND CARTS TO LOCAL COMMUNITY CENTERS.
Community Centers always need more equipment for their gymnasiums, recreation, and weight rooms. OPF is proud to help them in their efforts to keep clean, updated facilities for all Omaha residents to enjoy.