Nebraska dignitaries, community members celebrate opening of Gretna Crossing Park

For the first time in 55 years, the City of Gretna has a new public park to call its own.
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 5:12 PM CDT
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GRETNA, Neb. (WOWT) - Saturday has been long-awaited in Gretna.

“They’ll be friendships and experiences because our citizens and many people here today took a bold step during a global pandemic and said our community values quality of life, and we want this to endure,” said Gretna Mayor Mike Evans.

The new Gretna Crossing Park is officially open.

“Gretna is the fastest-growing city in Nebraska, in the fastest-growing county in Nebraska, and this 155-acre park is going to add even more greatness in Gretna,” said Rep. Don Bacon.

City and state leaders gathered Saturday morning to welcome community members to the sprawling park.

“Everything about this will add to the quality of life here in Gretna and the surrounding area,” said Sen. Pete Ricketts. “This is a great day for Gretna, and when our communities grow, that means it’s a great day for Nebraska as well.”

“It feels great to see the park and feel like, ‘I think we did our job,’” Evans said.

Evans said it’s been 55 years since the city last opened a public park -- he believes the city was well overdue for one.

“It’s so important that we keep the community identity and keep the quality of life the way it is,” he said. “That’s why people move here.”

The park includes a new waterpark and YMCA. Along with the indoor track, weight room and gyms, there’s a pool -- both for community members and for Gretna’s two high school swim teams to practice.

But Evans said the park is much more than its amenities -- it’s a gathering place.

“It’s not like a ball field, it’s not a pond, it’s not a rec center. It’s a place for community, and I think that’s going to be a gift for generations.”