Heartland of America Park is the second of three phases of the Riverfront Revitalization Master Plan comprising downtown Omaha and Council Bluffs park systems and the Missouri River. Constructed in 1990 and originally envisioned as a pastoral park featuring a central lake, iconic fountain, and walking paths, Heartland of America Park had little active programming or recreation. Due to an existing flood wall and active railyard, access to the river was severely limited. We worked closely with the City, US Army Corps of Engineers and other local and federal agencies to regrade a portion of the lake edge to improve usable area, views and provide pedestrian access to the river via the new Farnam Pier. The new pier hovers over the banks of the river and anchors the east end of the park. It offers a striking platform in which to find sweeping views of the Missouri River and downtown.
The park is reimagined to focus a series of amenities that encourage community and social engagement. Special destinations include a central recreational lawn, lake-edge amphitheater, four-season skate ribbon, multi-use spaces, and large native prairie gardens.