Support the Parks


Love Your Parks…Give a Gift that Lasts a Lifetime. 

As Lincoln grows, so does the demand for parks. Maintaining and building an outstanding park and recreation system is one way we can provide an excellent lifestyle for our citizens now and in the future. Private help is essential if we are going to continue to enjoy the benefits of our remarkable parks system. Love your parks…and give a gift that lasts a lifetime.

Ways to Support Lincoln's Parks:

General Donations

Private support is essential...Love your parks…and give a gift that lasts a lifetime.

General monetary donations can be made through the Lincoln Parks Foundation website. As a private 501 (c) 3 non profit organization they work in partnership with the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department. Thank you for your generosity and kindness! 

Make a General Donation

Parker's Pals Scholarship Program

A scholarship program for Lincoln's youth

The Parker's Pals Scholarship Program provides financial support to help families in need enroll their children in programming offered through the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department. Almost 2,000 Lincoln children utilize this program each year.


  • 300 children can access swimming lessons
  • 20 children participate in swim/dive league,
  • 1,000 children receive free or reduced-fee pool admissions
  • 200 children attend summer, day or after school programs at Recreation Centers and Pioneers Park Nature Center

What Does it Mean for Lincoln Families?

Here is just one example from a working, single mom of two young children. She wrote a letter asking for a Parker's Pals Scholarship to after school and summer camp programs for her family.

'I am currently going through a very difficult financial situation and family transition. As a result, I have been late on a couple of payments and I foresee not being able to continue keeping my children in these programs. I work until after 5pm each day and I feel more secure knowing that my children are well taken care of in these programs. If there is anything you can do to provide my children with a scholarship to these programs I would be really grateful. I would love for them to continue attending after school and summer camps but without help I can no longer afford them. Thank you very much in advance."

What You Can Do

Each year individuals, families, corporate partners, and civic groups step forward to support this wonderful program. However, program needs continue to exceed program resources--more assistance is always appreciated. Private support is essential. Every dollar counts. Please consider making a tax deductible donation or hosting a house party or other event to benefit this program.

In the past few years the Parker's Pals Scholarship program has received generous support from:

  • Community Services Fund donors
  • Lincoln Cares donors
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Gallup Inc. employees
  • Heritage League Women's Club of Lincoln

To make a donation, visit our general donation page and note that your gift be directed to Parker Pals. Thank you to all of our donors who help make this program successful!

Donate to  to Parkers Pals

Lincoln Cares

Lincoln Cares is a fun, easy way to support parks, libraries, and older adults in Lincoln for only $1 per month!

Lincoln Cares is the City of Lincoln's voluntary donation program that offers customers of the Lincoln Electric System (LES) a chance to add $1 to their monthly bill payment. These donations provide funds for Parks and Recreation, Lincoln City Libraries, and Aging Partners not currently supported by the City budget.

Donating to Lincoln Cares is easy!  lincolncares.gif

If your Lincoln Cares donation is not already part of your monthly Lincoln Electric System bill, now is the time to enroll.

Enroll today at or call 402-475-4211. Thank you for your support of parks, libraries and older adults in our community!

Make a one-time donation now!      Sign up to donate to Lincoln Cares

Lincoln Cares Projects in 2020

Fitness Equipment and Facility Upgrades for Aging Partners:  Aging Partners uses Lincoln Cares donations to purchase new fitness equipment for its Aging Partners Fitness Center located at 555 S. 9th St. Project Partner: Seniors Foundation.

Maker Space Programming Equipment for Libraries: Maker Space equipment allows the library to present opportunities for people of all ages to engage in hands-on activities from sewing to robots to scrapbooking to coding to audiovisual production. Lincoln Cares funds will go towards purchasing equipment for Maker Space programming, with the intention to set up an actual Maker Space in one of branches. Project partner: Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries.

Cascade Fountain: The Lincoln Parks Foundation and the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department are leading a capital campaign to raise $1.6 million to restore Cascade Fountain to its original iconic stature and enhance the surrounding plaza area. The fountain is located at 27th and Capitol Parkway. Partner: Lincoln Parks Foundation.

 Haines Branch Prairie Corridor: The Prairie Corridor is a 13-mile corridor that will link Pioneers Park with Spring Creek Prairie and provide enhancement and preservation of tall grass prairie, recreational and educational connections and economic development opportunities. Project partner: Lincoln Parks Foundation, Prairie Corridor Partnership.

Parker’s Pals: This scholarship program provides financial support for children of low-income families. It includes pool admissions, swimming lessons, and participation in the swim/dive league and allows children to participate in youth and sports programs offered by Lincoln Parks and Recreation. Project partners: Culver’s, Lincoln Parks Foundation and Olsson.


2 for Trees

Enhance Lincoln's public tree canopy. It's amazing what you and $2 can do! 

2 For Trees is a program that allows customers of the Lincoln Water System (LWS) to add voluntarily $2 to their bill payment for funding support of public trees in our community forest. The City of Lincoln is home to about 117,000 public trees, including 87,000 trees which line our streets. Donations made by customers of the Lincoln Water System are supplemented with in-kind donations from private nurseries in our community. This is an extraordinary example of a public-private partnership that will greatly enhance our community forest in Lincoln. The Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department will manage and direct the additional funds to planting and establishment of new trees along streets and in parks.

What You Can Do

Please consider adding $2 to your payment to Lincoln Water System to support Lincoln's public trees. 

 Make a one-time donation now! 


History of 2 for Trees

One of the hallmarks of Lincoln's quality of life is our beautiful community forest. A canopy of more than 117,000 public trees covers the Capital City, of which 87,000 street trees more than 1200 miles of streets. It's no wonder that Lincoln has been nationally recognized as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation every year since 1976!

Trees provide environmental, economic, health, social and community benefits—ranging from improving the value and beauty of our neighborhoods, absorbing carbon dioxide, storing carbon, saving energy costs, enhancing property values, and providing food for wildlife.

Regular, ongoing funding is needed to maintain a multi-generational urban forest in our community. Currently only three of five street trees lost due to damage, decline or disease is replaced. The Two for Trees program is an easy and affordable way for all citizens to "take the extra step" to sustain our beautiful community forest.

Memorials and Endowments

Honoring Your Loved One

Memorials to Lincoln Parks Foundation

Lincoln Parks Foundation is honored to receive memorial donations on behalf of those who love Lincoln's parks, trails and recreation facilities.

Memorial donations can be used in a variety of ways, celebrating the unique passions or interests of the individual who has passed away. This may include a memorial bench in their favorite park, supporting tree planting projects in the community, funding a seasonal floral display in one of our public gardens, placing a brick along a pathway or trail, funding a scholarship for youth nature camp in the summer, or supporting programming through our recreation centers.

Public Gardens Opportunities
  • Memorial Bricks
    Honor special friends or family members, celebrate graduations or weddings or commemorate holidays by purchasing an inscribed brick to be placed in the walkways at the newly renovated Sunken Gardens or Hamann Rose Garden. A contribution of $250 will buy an inscribed standard paver measuring 5.5" x 8". A contribution of $750 will buy an inscribed foundation paver measuring 8" x 11".
  •  in Sunken Gardens

    One flower will be planted in honor of someone special, annually, at Lincoln's Sunken Gardens 'forever'. All donors receive a commemorative certificate suitable for framing which can be presented to the honoree or honoree's family and a flower lapel pin. Names of honorees will be recorded in the inter-active kiosk at the Sunken Gardens Pavilion.

  • Bricks of Honor in Veterans Memorial Garden
    A "Brick of Honor" is available for all Veterans, living or deceased, who received an Honorable or General Discharge. Bricks for Veterans organizations and Auxiliary organizations will be accepted. The cost of a brick is $150. All proceeds from brick sales go to improvements and maintenance of the Veteran’s Memorial Garden.

Sunken Gardens 

Hamann Rose Garden


Planned Giving Opportunities

Wills, Living Trusts, and Life-Income Gifts

Give a gift that lasts a lifetime.

The Lincoln Parks Foundation would be honored to accept your planned gift.  We will work with you to help you create a legacy gift that fulfills your wishes.

"Gifts of any size are greatly appreciated at Lincoln Parks Foundation. We'd love to learn about your interests and appropriately recognize your generosity in accordance with your wishes."  ~ Maggie Stuckey, Lincoln Parks Foundation Executive Director

If you would like to further explore planned giving opportunities for parks and recreation in Lincoln further, please contact:

Maggie Stuckey, Executive Director
Lincoln Parks Foundation
3131 O Street, Suite 301
Lincoln, NE 68510
Office: 402-441-8258




Lincoln Parks Foundation Fundraising Campaigns:

Lincoln Parks Foundation was founded in 1992 by Clancy Woolman, Bill Blake, Dr. James Rickman, Marilyn Olson, Fred R. "Bob" Sikyta, Robert A. Helm, Arlan Stromberg, Phyllis Pauley, and M.E. "Bus" Whitehead. As a private 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization they inspire and nurture a philanthropic legacy for parks and recreation in our community.

As a non-profit organization, Lincoln Parks Foundation works in partnership with the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department. It’s sole mission is to help sustain and improve our parks and recreation facilities and programs, beyond what city tax dollars provide.

Past successful campaigns include a $1.7 million renovation of Sunken Gardens, a $350,000 renovation of Antelope Park Rose Garden, a $4.75 million capital campaign for Union Plaza, a $2.2 million renovation of historic Sherman Field, and a $9.6 million capital campaign to Revitalize Nebraska's Centennial Mall. Current projects include Mini Grants for neighborhood parks, Parker's Pals scholarships for children to attend recreation center programs and swimming lessons, a $5.6 million campaign to renovate Woods Tennis Center, and the development of a tall grass Prairie Corridor on Haines Branch.


Cascade Fountain


The Lincoln Parks Foundation and the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department are leading a capital campaign to raise $1.6 million to restore Cascade Fountain to its original iconic stature. Cascade Fountain is showing its age from the past 40 years and is in desperate need of repairs.


Cascade Fountain was built in 1978 in Lincoln, Nebraska to commemorate the historic celebration of our great nation and to honor Nebraska educators for their dedication and commitment to providing excellence in education. Cascade Fountain has stood as a symbol of beauty and achievement over the years and reflects what happens when a community comes together for the greater good.


To create this new vision, the funds raised will be used to repair structural decay and install new electrical and equipment to meet current city codes, to enhance the surrounding area with additional improvements, and to establish an endowment that will sustain Cascade Fountain and surrounding grounds into the future.




Learn more about this campaign and donate to Cascade Fountain campaign

Reviving a Historic Park Corridor

Irvingdale, Stransky, and Rudge Parks Master Plan

Specific projects include renovating existing and age playgrounds, improving under-utilized park areas, constructing stream channel stabilization measures, replacing park infrastructure, building a connecting trail corridor and adding new amenities to increase recreational opportunities in this under-served, dense area in the core of the city.

When completed, this beautiful, continuous and vibrant green space will serve as a welcoming gathering place and an inspiring vision for the future.

 Park Locations

  • Irvingdale Park: A 15-acre park located at 20th and Van Dorn, named in proximity to Irving Junior High (Irving was named for American author Washington Irving, whose works include "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.")
  • Stransky Park: Home of the Stransky Park Summer Concert Series, located at 17th and Harrison. This park was named to honor Angeleen and Leonard Stransky, prominent Lincoln grocers who funded the rehabilitation of the park in 2003. 
  • Rudge Park: A 6-acre park located at 14th and Lake, named to honor prominent Lincoln department store (Rudge & Guenzel) owner, Charles H. Rudge, whose 1926 estate gift to the Lincoln Parks Department allowed for the renovation of the park in the late 1940s.

Critical Park Enhancements

  • ADA-accessible playgrounds in Rudge and Irvingdale Parks
  • Pool and bathhouse renovations for Irving Pool
  • Basketball court in Irvingdale Park
  • Day use facilities and picnic shelters in Rudge and Irvingdale Parks
  • Channel stabilization along a drainage way running through Irvingdale Park
  • Hard-surfaced trail corridor/loop connecting all three parks
  • Drinking fountain with pet bowl in Irvingdale Park
  • Interpretive/educational exhibits in Irvingdale and Rudge Parks
  • Renovated parking facilities near the pool and tennis courts in Irvingdale Park.


Learn more about the Historic Park Corridor Master Plan Project

Disc Golf Improvements at Roper West Park


The Lincoln Flying Disc Club is partnering with the Lincoln Parks Foundation to make improvements to the disc golf courses at Max E. Roper Park in northwest Lincoln. Over the past year, the disc golf course at Max E. Roper East Park has been completely updated with new tee boxes, baskets and new hole signage. This campaign is to extend the improvements to Max E. Roper West Park. The goal is to raise $30,000 to install new concrete tee pads for a pro tee and an amateur tee on each hole, new hole signage and new baskets. Improvements are needed to respond to the increased demand and usage of the disc golf courses and to be able to host competitive events. 

 Learn more and to donate to the Roper West Disc Golf Campaign

lpfLogo.png If you would like more information on the Lincoln Parks Foundation, our major projects and how to support Lincoln’s parks in general, contact us at or call 402-441-8258.




Programs like these are a wonderful example of how government can work. Bolstered by matching funds from our project sponsors, Lincoln Cares gives everyone a chance to voluntarily do something extra to beautify our community.