June 11, 2019 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Tops of trees sprout from the water in a neat row down the center of Flanagan Lake, a new public park situated in northwest Omaha. What was once farmland divided among 17 separate owners has grown into gently sloping green hills surrounding an elongated body of water. This project that has been in the making since 2009 officially opened to the public in June 2018.

Planned and constructed by the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District, the park took three years to complete after groundbreaking before it was turned over to Omaha’s Parks and Recreation Board.

The park will provide a welcome green space for many nearby homeowners. Housing developments around the lake are already beginning to take root. A number of homes-in-progress at Pier 15 development will offer lakefront locations with uninterrupted views of the water, as well as villas and houses within easy walking distance. The developer’s website shows that Villa lots are available for $52,000, while lakefront lots are selling for $110,000. Residences in the villas sell for $350,000-$500,000, while houses sell from over $450,000-$800,000. Anchor Pointe housing development (located along 168th and Ida streets) will be included in the Bennington School District.

“We’re getting a mix of retirees and a few clients who are younger that like not having to worry about the maintenance,” says Matt Caniglia, owner of Silverthorn Custom Homes.

As for the homes themselves, Caniglia says the area will consist of mostly ranch homes with a few two-stories, as requested by customers. While the subdivision itself at 168th and Fort streets does not feature many businesses, it is close to Maple Street, which has grocery stores, drug stores, and other necessities.

The common connection with the residents, though, is the natural amenities. “The people who have bought really like [having] the access to the lake without living on the lake. We see people liking not having the extra costs that come with living on a lake, like needing a boat and a dock.”

The 730-acre park features 5.2 miles of trails for biking and hiking, a boat ramp, restrooms, and picnic shelters. Different types of trees are planted and showcase small gold plaques along the waterfront, each dedicated to a different person or family from Omaha. Solar-powered lights and ample parking space make this park fun and functional for all.

The lake offers an assortment of amenities such as fishing, kayaking, or picnicking. By the end of 2019, a large playground structure will also take root. Visitors can expect multiple slides, bridges, and climbing walls, as well as several homages to the park’s namesake.

In 2017, metro citizens were given an opportunity to cast votes for potential names of the park. While several dozen were suggested, the most voted-for was Father Flanagan, the name of the priest who established Boys Town in Omaha in 1917. Flanagan Lake provides a great opportunity to redistribute some of the city’s sculptures to this new neighborhood. Specifically, pieces from the Take a Seat bench series at Gene Leahy Mall will find a new home at Flanagan Lake.

When asked about how the park will impact citizens and the overall landscape of Omaha, Omaha Parks and Recreation director Brook Bench recounts the various amenities the park makes available to residents. “It adds something very special to that northwest part of the city.”   


Visit flanaganlake.com for more information about this lake and the surrounding communities.

This article was printed in the July/August 2019 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.