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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Lincoln officials have new plans for the city’s oldest park.

The Parks and Recreation Department will share its ideas for the 150-year-old Cooper Park on Thursday, the Lincoln Journal Star reported .

“Over the years, it’s been renovated several different times,” said J.J. Yost, the department’s planning and construction manager. “Some of the existing infrastructure is aged and deteriorated and just worn out.”

The department will discuss the park’s pressing needs and the broader changes officials hope to make in the future, he said.

Pressing needs include improved lighting, replacing roofs on the bathroom and picnic shelters, and fixing eroding retaining walls.

“There are so many retaining walls in that park, and that’s a very costly item to address,” Yost said. “The master plan is looking at a proposal to have some of those eliminated.”

Long-term goals include adding a soccer field, disc golf, rerouting sidewalks, installing public art and making the baseball field a multipurpose open space.

“The park gets a lot of different and varied uses,” Yost said. “The goal behind the master plan is to increase the opportunities for recreation to that immediate neighborhood.”

The final plan will be released in the next few months, he said.

NeighborWorks Lincoln, city officials and park neighbors have worked together for nearly two years to create the plan. The city will work with residents to prioritize the different aspects of the plan, Yost said.

“Cooper Park is important to maintain,” said Shawn Ryba of the South of Downtown Community Development Organization, which is hosting the meeting. “There’s no green space in that area, so we have to take care of what we have.”


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star,