Union Plaza


Acres: 6

Union Plaza is a three-block urban park located north of "O" Street between 21st and 22nd Streets that is a part of the Antelope Valley flood and roadway project. The six-acre park includes four water features, a festival space, new trail connection, artwork, children's play area, pond plaza, outdoor plaza seating, a scenic overlook and an outdoor amphitheater. Union Plaza is designed to be a community place that benefits the entire city. It will be a catalyst for economic development and provide a greenspace connection to UNL and downtown. It will help revitalize surrounding neighborhood and business areas.

Union Plaza is a first of its kind six acre urban park that is located north of "O" Street between 21st and 22nd Streets in the heart of central Lincoln. Union Plaza is named in honor of the generous lead donor, Union Bank. The $4.75 million fundraising campaign was managed by the Lincoln Parks Foundation. A grand opening for the park was held September 2012 to celebrate the success of the capital campaign and substantial completion of Union Plaza and the Antelope Valley Project.

Water Themes

Union Plaza is a part of the larger Antelope Valley project, which provided flood control, transportation improvements, economic redevelopment, and community revitalization. The park features a meandering waterway with numerous crossings and serves as a flood control tool. It also features public art, three fountains, a large plaza, a scenic overlook, an amphitheater with seating for 200, a playground, and paved trails that connect to the city’s existing system. The plaza stretches over three blocks and offers amenities for festivals such as restrooms, seating, audio and power sources, recycling/trash receptacles, and lighting.

 The Cycle of Water and Groundwater themes are represented in the fountains. Sustainable elements include water conserving nozzles and LED lights in fountains, photovoltaic cells to power lighting, and permeable pavers and Silva cells to manage runoff and support street-side trees.


Public Art

Information about public art pieces in Union Plaza may be found within the Public Art webpages.

Groundwater Colossus



Childrens Discovery Garden Animals

Bronze replica of a retriever with its mouth open



Looking through fall grasses, the metal form discover stands

Commercial Photography

Lincoln's parks and public gardens have provided beautiful backdrops for generations of family photos. When you or your photographer are taking pictures, we ask that you be mindful of, and minimize disruption to, other park users and garden visitors. Please also take care to avoid damaging any flowers, plantings, turf, or park property.

If your photo shoot is large and/or it could disrupt normal park or public garden operations, you make need to seek a Special Use Permit. If fees for photography services are collected on site, a Permit to Conduct Business may be required. Wedding reservations are available at our wedding designated sites. Please contact 402-441-7847, Ext. 0, or email parks@lincoln.ne.gov, for additional information regarding both Special Use Permit and wedding reservations.

Thank you and enjoy those beautiful pictures!



Union Plaza is a truly unique structure. It is the result of hard work, teamwork, and creative engineering done by a multitude of Lincolnites throughout a number of years. This six-acre park is located north of O Street between 21st and 22nd Streets in the heart of central Lincoln. Union Plaza acts as a gateway to downtown Lincoln, welcoming visitors and reminding residents of the city’s natural beauty. 

Union Plaza is named in honor of its generous lead donor, Union Bank. The $4.75 million fundraising campaign was managed by the Lincoln Parks Foundation. The dedication and official opening of the park was in September of 2012. 

While this is a recently made park, ideas and plans for Union Plaza were in the works for many years beforehand. Union Plaza was designed to be a catalyst for economic development, and to be a sort of “Central Park of Lincoln”. Union Plaza was designed to provide a greenspace in connection with the nearby University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It also was a catalyst in providing revitalization to neighborhoods and business areas in downtown Lincoln. 

Union Plaza became representative of a celebration. It celebrated the natural beauty of Nebraska, focusing on reintroducing native Nebraska plants and following the winding path that the Antelope Creek takes past downtown Lincoln. Union Plaza also became a celebration of the culture surrounding it, both of Nebraska and Lincoln. Throughout the park are words and likenesses of famous Nebraskans throughout history that reflect the tenacity and kindness of Nebraskans.

The plants and layout of Union Plaza are strategic in many ways, while Antelope Creek at most times was fairly tame and small, it was notorious for exploding into a near-torrential path of water. With the creek being so close to downtown Lincoln, it was important that the City created a waterway that would be able to maintain Antelope Creek at a consistent level when it would flood. Those native Nebraska plants also serve a purpose with maintaining a consistent water level. Prairie grasses and plants have evolved over time to develop long, strong root systems that hold large amounts of water and can survive rough winds and tough droughts. These root systems also grip the soil around it, making sure the soil doesn’t erode with the floodwaters. These native grasses and plants help stop soil erosion in Antelope Valley, something that was a consistent issue for years before Union Plaza was created.

Union Plaza truly is a celebration of Nebraska, from its natural wonders to the kindness and tenacity of its people. It serves as a gateway, welcoming visitors and residents alike, to the vibrant and growing area of downtown Lincoln.


250 N 21st St, Lincoln 68503  View Map

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