Mayor Chris Beutler today announced the City projects that will be funded through the 2018 Lincoln Cares community donation program. Lincoln Cares allows customers of the Lincoln Electric System (LES) to add $1 to their monthly bill payments for Parks and Recreation, Lincoln City Libraries and Aging Partners. The funds support projects and programming that are not able to be funded through the City budget.
“We started this partnership with LES in 2003 because we believed in the generosity of Lincoln residents and in their desire to support the programs that add so much to our quality of life,” Beutler said. “Today, 15 years later, our entire community can take pride in the fact that almost $1.5 million has been invested in our parks, libraries and services for older adults. We are grateful to LES and its customers, the sponsors, the other donors, our media partners and our project partners who have all played a role in making Lincoln Cares successful.”
Five media organizations will provide in-kind advertising and promotion for the program — KOLN/KGIN-TV; KLKN-TV; Alpha Media; Broadcast House; and the Lincoln Journal Star. This year’s project partners include Lincoln Parks Foundation, Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries from Allstate, Seniors Foundation, Olsson Associates, Prairie Corridor Partnership and Culver’s.
LES customers can support Lincoln Cares by enrolling at LES.com/lcdonate or calling 402-475-4211. The $1 donation is automatically included on the LES bill each month, and customers can discontinue their automatic donation at any time by calling LES.
The average number of LES customers enrolled per month is 3,586. From February 2003 through April 2018, Lincoln Cares has collected $915,708 in donations from LES customers.
More than $600,000 in additional funds has been contributed through direct donations to the City and from local foundations, businesses and neighborhood associations.
The Lincoln Cares program has assisted Aging Partners in renovating a new Fitness Center at 555 South 9th Street with state of the art fitness equipment. “Maintaining physical strength allows our seniors to remain active, healthy and vibrant,” said Randall Jones, Director of Aging Partners.
Lincoln Cares funds, matched by Allstate, will allow Lincoln City Libraries to build on the success of its Maker-Space activities. “Hundreds of people have had a great time while learning at the library, due to Maker-Space activities,” said Pat Leach, Director of Lincoln City Libraries. “Whether connecting circuits, programming a robot, or even using a sewing machine, people learn together through Maker-Space activities. It’s a world-wide trend that’s all about learning in community.”
Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson said Lincoln Cares will support several programs. “Lincoln Cares donations will again provide opportunities for children from low-income families to participate in swimming, youth sports and other recreation programs,” Johnson said. “New outdoor fitness equipment in Cooper Park will bring a new activity to Lincoln’s oldest park. Lincoln Cares funding also will continue to assist with development of the Haines Branch Prairie Corridor celebrating and preserving Lincoln’s prairie heritage.”
Programs and projects funded by Lincoln Cares are selected based on input from the Lincoln Cares Advisory Board, which includes representatives from Parks and Recreation, Lincoln City Libraries and Aging Partners as well as the community.
For more information, visit LincolnCares.info.
INCOLN CARES PROJECTS: 2018
Library Meeting Rooms and Maker-Space Activities: Lincoln City Libraries has been building portable Maker-Space kits. These allow 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 provide for furnishings for meetings spaces and other areas to support these Maker-Space activities. Project partners: grant to the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries from Allstate.
Fitness Equipment for Cooper Park: Parks and Recreation has developed a master plan for Lincoln’s oldest park at 6th and “D” streets through a neighborhood engagement process. The plan envisions infrastructure repair and replacement and new recreational opportunities. Lincoln Cares is funding new fitness equipment for the park. 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 Area Retired School Personnel, Lincoln Parks Foundation, Olsson Associates.
Successful projects funded by the Lincoln Cares program include:
Trail wayfinding kiosks
Parker’s Pals scholarships for low-income youth
Three new dog runs
Fitness equipment for Aging Partners
Upgrades for Library meeting spaces
School Family Nights at Lincoln City Libraries
Pickle Ball courts
Woods Park Tennis Center
Drinking fountain at Rudge Park
Sunburst Park play area
Portable solar lighting for Pioneers Park Nature Center and Pinewood Bowl
Upgraded library equipment for special events
Haines Branch Prairie Corridor
Tennis backboards in the parks
Historic Pinewood Bowl entrance enhancements
Drinking fountains on trails
Nebraska’s Centennial Mall
Jayne Snyder Trail Center
Densmore Park ballfield shade structure
Aging in Place program
Mendoza Park shelter
Leading to Reading Spaces at libraries
Billy Wolff Trail solar lighting
Pioneers Park Nature Center animal care
Witherbee Park playground
Air conditioning at Belmont Park enclosed shelter
Hi-tech portable play tower
Boosalis Trail renovation
Solar-heated pool and bathhouse demonstration project
Air conditioning at Antelope Park enclosed shelter
Acquisition of prairie and grasslands at Pioneers Park
Nebraska State Liberty Bell Shelter in Antelope Park
Restoration of the Four Wars Memorial, Pioneer Woman and Bountiful Prairie sculptures
Sunken Gardens renovation
Addition to the Pioneers Park Nature Center Prairie Building
Park Middle School Teen Center
Benches along the Holmes Lake Trail Loop
Shelters at Woods Park and Bethany Park
Green Team Youth Employment Program
Youth Outdoor Adventure Program
Peach Park expansion
Trago Park shelter
Hudson Cabin and Heritage School endowment
Belmont Park natural play area
Lewis Field parking lot lighting
Tierra Park playground area lighting
Elliott School/Antelope Park/Antelope Valley Trail
Pioneers Park Nature Center art work
Jamaica North Trail Bridge
Lighting at Sunken Gardens and Pocras Park
Picnic tables at Bowling Lake
Trago Park Sprayground
Upgraded toddler play area at the Ager Play Center
Lincoln Safari program
Shooting sports facility
Parker’s Pals swim and recreation program scholarships for low-income youth.