Peaceful Places around Lincoln

Finding peace in the midst of chaos

Debbie Pinto

Does it ever feel like nothing positive is happening in the world anymore? Our screens are filled with agonizing headlines that deplete any hope we have in humanity. Human trafficking, deaths of Christians around the world, and shootings are only a handful of news that are slowly desensitizing our minds and hearts.

Recently RELEVANT Magazine published an article which stated, “Rather than allowing ourselves to respond to the devastation, we often move through our days consumed by our own lives, shutting out the rest of the world because we don’t quite know how to keep the hope.”

While the headlines are reminding us of the sting of death, nature is reminding us of the grace of life. Nature is a remedy for the heart and mind. Spring paints the grass green and waters vibrant flowers. Bare trees become lush and green and warm temperatures makes a daily appearance. Lincoln is home to a variety of parks, gardens and landscapes that allow one to find peace in the midst of chaos.

Sunken Gardens

Located at 27th and Capital Parkway, Sunken Gardens consists of a lush display of over 30,000 types of flowers. This garden is a peaceful environment with an assortment of trees, shrubs, and plants that bloom in the spring, creating a getaway from roads and concrete. Features include The Healing Garden of white blossoms, The Perennial Garden featuring hostas, viburnum, and hydrangeas, and the coy filled fish pond.

Pawnee Lake

Are you originally from the coasts? Do you miss the ocean? Lincoln maybe nowhere near the ocean but Pawnee Lake will give you the same peaceful waves. On the outskirts of Lincoln, the 30 minute drive is worth the 740 acres of water. Visitors can camp, boat, and fish on the sand banks. Host a barbeque with some friends or take a hike on any of the trails along the 1,800 acres of land. There are picnic tables for an afternoon lunch or, if you decide to camp, modern restrooms and showers, as well as electrical hookups are available. If you’re looking for a lake a little bigger than Holmes, you’ll enjoy Pawnee Lake.

Wilderness Park

Taking a walk in the woods can allow you to reflect on your thoughts and stand in the midst of nature. Wilderness Park is 1472 acres of conservancy with many heavily wooded trails as well as prairieland. Trails include walking trails, bike trails, and horse trails and lead to different streams and bridges. Boundaries begin on South 1st Street to the West and range to South 27th Street to the East. Just when you think Union has a large amount of trees, Wilderness Park will give you the forest serenity you’ve been craving.

Pet Doctor

While this is not a gorgeous landscape filled with ponds and tulips, there is no better way than to release stress by playing with a puppy. The Pet Doctor is located on 66th Street east of Gateway Mall and is home to dozens of puppies, kittens, and rodents that are ready to play with you. You must be 19 years or older with an ID to play with these puppies. Get ready to leave loved by a puppy and with a smile.

Even though Lincoln is surrounded by cornfields, there are many natural landscapes to fit all types of outdoor lovers. It’s important to spend time in nature away from life’s stressors and reflect on God’s creations. He’s reminding us that in the midst of all the bad of the world, this is not our home but nature is a glimpse of what is to come.   

Debbie is a junior studying elementary education.