Parks and Recreation

Department Head

Lynn Johnson and Parker Rex

Lynn Johnson

Lynn Johnson has served as Director of the City of Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department since 2000. He values the community’s legacy of a strong parks system, and the support of community residents for enhancing and expanding the system evidenced by several recent successful fundraising campaigns.

Lynn Johnson and Parker Rex, the Parks and Recreation mascot pose for a fun photo after an event.

Updated information March 11, 2021 

For more information about other Community Guidance and Recommendations from the Lincoln-Lancaster County department, visit COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov

 Effective immediately:

  • Recreation centers remain open with occupancy limitations, and some evening and weekend hours have been temporarily reduced due to lessened attendance.
  • Community learning center programs are open.
  • Rental of indoor facilities including shelters for group events and gatherings has been suspended.
  • Restrooms are closed in all Lincoln parks and along trails to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Other changes made to help stop the spread of COVID-19 include the following:

  • Avoid contact with high touch surfaces like picnic tables and benches because surfaces are not disinfected.
  • Water fountains in parks and along trails are closed.
  • Park users are encouraged to take their own games, water, hand sanitizer and wipes to the parks and take all trash out of the parks.
  • Dogs are not allowed at the Pioneers Park Nature Center preserve. If you are not at a dog run, all dogs need to be on a leash, and owners must pick up dog waste.
  • The Nature Center Prairie Building schedule has changed. The facility (north of the road and west of the parking lot) will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, and closed Saturday and Sunday to allow time for small animal care and additional sanitation.
  • Viewing of the bison and trails through the prairie north of the roadway will remain open daily from sunrise to sunset.
  • Lincoln Municipal Golf courses remain open with limits on the numbers of players allowed in the clubhouses and one rider per golf cart. For all the changes to golf operations, visit lincolncitygolf.org.

 


Here are the answers to our most common questions about Parks services during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Are the parks and trails open?

Yes! Remember areas like playgrounds are not disinfected. Make sure to bring hand sanitizer when visiting parks and trails.

  • Maintain physical distance while enjoying our park spaces.
  • Restrooms and drinking fountains in parks and along trails are closed. Restrooms at Holmes Lake Park and Pioneers Park are being opened during weekends only.
  • Take trash out of the park if possible, and dispose of it properly in a nearby trash bin or at home.
  • Use hand sanitizer when playing or using "high touch" areas including playground structures, swings, picnic tables, and adult exercise equipment because they are not sanitized.

What about recreation programs?

  • Activities that are temporarily restricted: games or sports in the gym, and gameroom.
  • All Community and Recreation Centers are open. Masks are required in all Parks buildings.
  • Approved activities while the COVID-19 Risk Dial is in yellow: Contact and limited contact sports (basketball and volleyball) with additional safeguards including masks unless actively engaged in the activity.
  • Activities that are temporarily restricted: limited capacity in centers; spectators to no more than 4 per participant and groups of spectators limited to 8 or less. Groups at least 6 feet of distancing from others.
  • Parks staff will announce changes when available.

 


What about volunteering programs?

All volunteer programs have been cancelled until further notice.


Can I reserve a park space for an event?

  • Outdoor wedding locations are available for reservation online.
  • Open shelters are not available to reserve but since they are open it’s first come, first served.
  • Enclosed shelters are not available to reserve or use at this time.

Reserve a park space

Can I reserve a gym court in a recreation center?

  • Court reservations will be available online starting Friday, February 19 for use on Monday 22. Reservations may be made up to 2 weeks in advance online at parks.lincoln.ne.gov.

Reserve a court


 Can I still golf at the municipal golf courses?

Yes, as weather permits. Touchless golf will continue. Seating in food and beverage areas will be limited to 25% of capacity and tables will be limited to groups of no more than for people. 

Lincoln Municipal Golf courses and driving ranges remain open with limits on the numbers of players allowed. For all the changes to golf operations, visit lincolncitygolf.org/coronavirus/.

Dogs and Dog Runs

  • Dogs must remain on leashes unless they are inside enclosed dog runs.
  • Dog waste must be picked up by the owner.
  • Dogs are not allowed within the Pioneers Park Nature Center including trails.

The four dog runs remain open:

  • Mahoney Park Dog Run near 84th and Adams streets
  • Roper Park East Dog Run, N. 7th and Adams streets
  • Rickman's Run, east side of South 70th Street in Holmes Lake Park
  • Stransky Dog Run, Peterson Park, 4419 Southwood Dr.

City of Lincoln COVID-19 information

More information is available at covid19.lincoln.ne.gov. Those with questions on the restrictions can call the Health Department at 402-441-8006
Those who suspect violations should report them to UPLNK either through the phone app or online at UPLNK.lincoln.ne.gov.
Do not call 911 or law enforcement with questions or to report violations.
For more information about COVID-19, visit covid19.lincoln.ne.gov.

 

Are the centers open? 

Yes! All centers are open.

Approved activities while COVID-19 Dial is in Yellow: contact and limited contact sports (basketball and volleyball) with additional safeguards including masks unless actively engaged in the activity.
Activities that are temporarily restricted: limited capacity; spectators to no more than 4 per participant and groups of spectators limited to 8 or less. Groups at least 6 feet of distancing from others.
Masks are required in all Parks buildings.

 

Air Park West Recreation Center – 3720 N.W. 46th St., 402-441-7876

  • Monday – Thursday: 11:30 am-7:30 pm
  • Friday: 11:30 am-5:30 pm
  • Saturday, Sunday: Closed

Belmont Recreation Center – 1234 Judson St., 402-441-6789

  • Monday – Thursday: 6:30 am – 7:30 pm
  • Friday: 6:30 am – 5:30 pm
  • Saturday, Sunday: 1:00 – 4:45 pm

Calvert Recreation Center – 4500 Stockwell St., 402-441-8480

  • Monday – Thursday: 6:30 am – 7:00 pm
  • Friday: 6:30 am – 5:45 pm
  • Saturday: 1:00 – 5:00pm
  • Sunday: Closed

Easterday Recreation Center – 6130 Adams St., 402-441-7901

  • Monday – Friday: 1:00 – 4:30 pm
  • Saturday/Sunday: Closed

"F" Street Community Center – 1225 F St., 402-441-7951 

  • Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 1:00 – 5:00 pm

Irving Recreation Center – 2010 Van Dorn St., 402-441-7954

  • Monday – Thursday: 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
  •  Friday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Saturday:  1:00- 5:00 pm
  • Sunday:  Closed

 

Pioneers Park Nature Center – 3201 S. Coddington Ave., 402-441-7985

Prairie Building (north of the road and west of the parking lot) is open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sundays.

Trails and viewing of the bison are open daily from sunrise to sunset.

The Chet Ager Building, the facility (south of the road in the woods) is open 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The newest building at the top of the bison viewing loop is not open to the public and only being used for education programming.

All buildings and hiking trails will be closed on City of Lincoln holidays.

 

Learn more about Parks & Recreation Boards and Commissions

Can I reserve a park facility, room or gym?

Reservations for outdoor parks facilities are not being accepted through the time being.

All center rentals and reservations are cancelled until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience.

  • Online facility reservations have been disabled – except for wedding sites.
  • Shelters: Rental of park shelters, both open air and enclosed, has been suspended through the time being due to guidance regarding limiting group sizes and reduced seasonal park staffing levels.
  • We are requesting for renters to submit a refund request form to receive a full refund, check will be issued within 3 to 5 weeks after the request has been submitted.
  • Special Use events: Have not automatically been cancelled. Organizers are given the opportunity to cancel, postpone or request approval to hold the event under the current Directed Health Measures. Organizers may submit a Health Safety Plan for review by the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department. If the Health Safety Plan is approved, consideration will be given by Parks and Recreation to proceed with the event. For additional information please visit: https://www.lincoln.ne.gov/city/covid19/business-resources.htm
  • Weddings: Wedding reservations at Public Gardens/Wedding Venues are still allowed, as long as they follow the current group size limit dictated by the Directed Health Measures. Group size limited includes the Bride, Groom and Officiant.