Cost: Free admission
Union Plaza is a place of discovery, gathering and celebration for all those who visit. The Park features four water features, a festival space, the Jayne Snyder Trails Center, a children's discovery area, a pond plaza, outdoor plaza seating, a scenic overlook, outdoor amphitheater, bike trails and public art.
Along with the overall concept of water, each block has a more specific focus on natural ecological systems, which are seen through the themes for the murals installed on the retaining walls as well as the pavement patterns which represent the dry stream beds that would have been present before Lincoln was established. The P and Q streets block has a community focus. The Jayne Snyder Trails Center provides amenities for trail users, space for public gatherings, restroom facilities and the 200 person Dickson Dinsmore Graf Amphitheater. Murals between these two city blocks focus on community including Native American tribes and pioneers that settled in this area. Lastly, the Q to R streets block focuses on the flora and fauna of Nebraska. The Assurity Overlook is located on the south side of the block in the shape of an inverted vortex. It offers views along the channel as well as to the city, truly capturing the fact that Lincoln is an urban forest. The Assurity Overlook is planted to show the juxtaposition of native and agricultural plant material and includes bioretention cells that collect and clean the storm water runoff.
Two pieces of public art are in the P to Q Street block. Artist James Tyler's Groundwater Colossus stands 12 feet tall and is on the west side of the park. This sculpture is meant to personify the Ogallala Aquifer that sits beneath it. Loudspeakers embedded in the head play both the sounds of trickling water and clanging metal which represents the impact that humans have on the environment. Artist Shannon Hansen's Discover is on the east side of the park. When you stand back and peer through Discover, it frames the Capitol building.