Covering three-fourths of an acre, Stransky Park boasts a gazebo; a playground with slides and a swing set; wide, paved walkways; and a stone waterfall that dominates the park's east side.
Scores of people, including donor Angeleen Stransky and Mayor Coleen Seng, milled about on a chilly Sunday after a dedication ceremony for the park at 17th Street and Perkins Boulevard.
“It's a work of art, really,” said neighbor James Heydt, 41, about the park.
“I think, outside the Sunken Gardens, it has the most aesthetic beauty in the smallest space” of any city park.
Construction began in mid-April for the park, for which Stransky and her late husband, Leonard, donated about $550,000. Upkeep and maintenance for the park, which will cost about $10,000 a year, will be paid for by the family trust.
Neighbors are pitching in, too, with many offering to open the park's wrought iron gates in the morning and close them at night.
On Sunday afternoon, the park attracted many neighbors and children who soon will play there.
Some already do.
Darcie Reed, 10, and her twin sister, Terri, live about five blocks from the park.
They've already spent many afternoons pretending to be mountain lions or other animals on the park's rocky waterfall.
And they talk to the neighbors walking animals in the park.
“That's how we know people,” Terri said.
Heydt, whose home is just across the street from the park, said he enjoyed listening from his porch to the sound of the waterfall, which drowns out the sound of traffic in the neighborhood.
Kitty Fynbu, of the Irvingdale Neighborhood Association, said the park would draw “a lot of people from the neighborhood as a gathering place. It's really well lit, and the water always attracts people.”
Angela Kohmetscher took her 15-month-old daughter, Natalie, to the park on Sunday. Kohmetscher said she liked the playground's soft, black floor surface better than the rocks of most playgrounds.
Leonard Stransky, who died in 1998, was a grocer who owned Trixie's IGA from the 1940s to the 1970s. The name of the store came from Leonard's own nickname.
Although he gave to many causes, Angeleen Stransky said, the park was her husband's first idea when he thought of causes to which to donate.
They were married for about 50 years, she said.
The park was designed by Angeleen Stransky, the planning and construction staff for the Lincoln Parks and Recreation
Department and architects and engineers from Olsson
Associates. The park's dedication plaque honoring the
Stranskys reads: “It is their wish to give a place of beauty back to the many customers that supported them in the Near South and Irvingdale Neighborhoods.”
Angeleen Stransky said she has had many such terriers over the years. A resin casting, a replica of the eventual bronze sculpture, now sits in the park.
Angeleen Stransky said she thought of a green island when she looked at the park.
But most of all, she said, “I wish Trix could see it.”
Lincoln Journal Star
by Toby Manthey 402-473-7395
October 31, 2003
Mrs. Stransky with the resin casting of a Boston Terrier. A replica of the eventual bronze sculpture, now sits in Stransky Park - Lincoln, NE.
Jean Brehem gives her daughter Isabelle a push on the swings during the dedication ceremony at Stransky Park. (Beth Rooney)
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