Irving-Stransky-Rudge Project Update – March 2020

By JJ Yost (Lincoln Parks & Recreation Department) and Maggie Stuckey (Lincoln Parks Foundation)

After a long wait, Lincoln Parks & Recreation Department has received news about the status of federal grant funding for the Irving-Stransky-Rudge Park Corridor.

As residents will recall, a master plan was developed for these three parks in 2016-2017. In August 2018, the City of Lincoln Parks & Recreation Department applied for federal grant funding to cover half of the renovation of the Irving-Stransky-Rudge Park Corridor from the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP). Established by Congress in 2014 and administered through the National Park Service, ORLP is a nationally competitive grant program that delivers funding for urban park projects located in economically disadvantaged areas and lacking in outdoor recreation opportunities. The application required evidence of 1:1 matching of the federal dollars, which was achieved through both private donor and municipal funds.

Unfortunately, the Department has received word that the project was not selected for ORLP funding. While we are disappointed at this news, we have been hard at work to develop a funding strategy to move forward with the renovation project for the corridor, as we firmly believe this is an important and overdue project for these three parks. Thanks to partnerships with both public and private entities, we have identified a path forward.

In September 2020, Lincoln Parks & Recreation Department will apply for state-level funding from the Land & Water Conservation Fund program for Irving-Stransky-Rudge Park Corridor. While the potential funding level is less at the state level than the federal level, we believe we have a real opportunity to leverage the matching funds already raised to make significant strides in the project. Awards will likely be announced in spring 2021.

If selected, the following components will be included in the renovation

Irvingdale Park

  • Remove existing parking lot and replace
  • Remove existing playground and replace
  • New park shelter and picnic facilities
  • Pool Improvements
    • Pool access walk & plaza
    • Pool fence
  • Concrete pathways
  • Interpretive Exhibits

 

Stransky

While the master plan called for several changes to the Stransky Park zone, due to limited funding, there will be no improvements made in this area.

 

Rudge Park

  • Park Entrance Monument and picnic facilities
  • Concrete loop pathway
  • Activity Area
    • Remove playground and replace with activity area
    • Close segment of 16th Street
  • Interpretive Exhibits

 

Lincoln Parks & Recreation Department and Lincoln Parks Foundation recognizes how important the Irving-Stransky-Rudge Park Corridor is to surrounding neighborhoods. We are anxious to make improvements and increase the usability, safety, and experience in these parks. We appreciate your patience as we have navigated this process and are just as excited as you are to see progress.

Should you have additional questions about the project, please contact JJ Yost at 402-441-8255. Questions about fundraising for the project can be directed to Maggie Stuckey at 402-441-8258.