Benson Park facelift begins

Benson Park facelift begins

By Erin Golden December 31, 2012 11:19 am Comments

One of the city’s most well-used parks is in for a series of upgrades — although some will require the financial support of the neighborhood.

Benson Park, near North 70th Street and Military Avenue, has already seen accessibility updates to its pavillion. Starting this spring, visitors will also notice crews putting in new picnic areas, additional fishing spots and new barricades to make parking safer.

Said interim parks director Brook Bench: “This one is really driven by the use of the park. It’s so used on the weekends — this is a big enough park where we can do these improvements, but don’t have the facilities to do them.”

Neighbors have expressed interested in getting new playground equipment, and Bench said the old playground will be replaced this year. That will happen once supporters raise $50,000 through the Omaha Parks Foundation’s Playground Initiative, which offers $50,000 in matching funds from the city. The park can also qualify for $10,000 in matching funds from Blue Cross Blue Shield once private donors have chipped in $10,000.

As of a community meeting held in early December, donors had contributed a total of $622.