Heartland of America Park at The RiverFront

  • Location
    Omaha, NE
  • Completion Date
  • Size
    31 acres
  • Team
    Architect: Gensler; Safdie Rabines Architects
    Engineer: HDR; M&R Global
    MEP Engineer: Alvine Engineering
    Water Feature Designer: Fluidity Design Consultants
    Signage + Wayfinding Designer: RSM Design
    Lighting Designer: Atelier Ten
    Ecologist: Applied Ecological Services
    Soils Consultant: Pine & Swallow
    Play Consultant: Studio Ludo
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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.

An extension to Douglas Avenue, from the downtown core through the park, provides ease of multi-modal access between the newly active Heartland of America and Lewis and Clark Landing parks.