Kearney, Nebraska
Community Profile

Quality of Life

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To spend a few carefree moments, come to Big Apple Fun Center for bowling, mini-golf, go-karts, bumper cars, sand volleyball and much more. A variety of recreational activities are available at Cottonmill Park, where you can swim, fish, hike, ride your bike and visit a nature center. Ski buffs can even try their favorite sport at Prairie Hills Skiing, where skiing and snowboarding are offered thanks to a snow-making machine.

Kearney Dragway hosts racing competitions throughout the summer. Scheduled races run from March through October.

Twelve parks in Kearney offer a variety of ways to pass the time. There are basketball courts, tennis courts, swimming, a water slide, baseball diamonds, picnic areas, playgrounds, archery range, boating, camping, fishing, nature trails, volleyball courts, sand volleyball courts, nature barn, horseshoe courts, soccer fields, sledding hills, in-line hockey, frisbee golf, paved hiking and biking trail, indoor ice skating at the Tri-City Arena, a night-sky observatory, and more.

The E.K. and Mary Yanney Heritage Park, located at 2020 11th Street, is the place to go for a view of the Kearney community and the Platte River Valley. The Gottschalk Observation Tower, located in the center of this 80-acre public park, can be enjoyed by everyone, as an elevator goes all the way to the top! There are also other things to enjoy at this newly developed park, such as the four-season picnic pavilion, the 12-acre lake, and the hiking and biking trail. You can even catch an event at the Cope Amphitheater!

Activity and exercise facilities in Kearney include the YMCA (featuring swimming pool, aerobic center, gymnasium, running track, weight room, racquetball courts, fitness center, game room, preschool room, a Super Gym, family center and Cope Child Care Center); Vitality Center; Curves for Women; and Quest Fitness.

For a relaxing evening, try one of our theaters: Hilltop 4; World Twin; Kearney Drive-In (seasonal); Kearney Community Theatre; and University Theatre.

A quality lifestyle isn’t complete without a solid foundation in faith. Kearney’s churches, more than 30 congregations of many denominations, are a key reason our community continues to prosper.

Kearney Library and Information Center is a hub, in more ways than one. While housing thousands of books, tapes and recordings, the center is also the focal point of electronic information for the region. Patrons may access catalogs and reserve volumes through the center’s information technology, much of it made possible through generous donations and support of local businesses.

Kearney’s Technology Learning Center is also located at the Library and Information Center, providing computer-based instruction on hardware, software and new technology. The learning center is the site for a local bulletin-board service which provides access to the Internet, Nebraska On-Line and many other networks.

Annual celebrations include the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic in February; Crafts Under the Trees in June; 3rd of July fireworks; Art in the Park and Cruise Nite in July; the Buffalo County Fair in August; and the Gateway Farm Expo in November.
Summer recreation programs include slow-pitch softball, baseball, arts and crafts, gymnastics, children’s theater, and swimming. Programs include YMCA programs, Little League baseball, soccer leagues, football, swimming lessons, bowling leagues, in-line and ice hockey leagues, and other activities. Men’s and women’s slow-pitch and fast-pitch softball are also available.

Programs for Kearney senior citizens include weekly card games, craft sessions, bowling, monthly covered-dish meals, special programs, musical and singing groups, dances, and bus trips.

Fort Kearny, one of the early U.S. Army posts of the west, is a 40-acre state park located six miles southeast of the city.

Park highlights include a museum, stockade, blacksmith shop and ammunition building. Facilities include overnight camping, swimming and picnicking.

The Cottonmill Lake Recreation Area, operated jointly by the city and county, includes 98 acres of land and 30 acres of water for fishing, boating and swimming. Picnicking, walking the exercise trail and visiting the nature barn are other activities enjoyed by visitors.

Cultural activities include university and high school musical and dramatic productions, two University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) art galleries, UNK Lecture Series, Kearney Area Art Council, Kearney Community Choir, Kearney Artists’ Guild, Rotary Club Travelogue, and Kearney Community Theater.

The municipal water system in Kearney is supplied by 12 wells at the Platte River well field and five city wells. The system serves 99.99 percent of the city’s population. The water is clear, and the hardness in parts-per-million is 365. The average tapwater temperature varies from 56 degrees in winter to 61 degrees in summer.

Kearney has a municipal sanitary sewerage system and a storm sewer system. The sewerage treatment plant was built in 1972 and has a daily capacity of 4.8 million gallons. Municipally-owned solid waste removal service is also available in Kearney. The disposal site, located five miles from the city, is owned by the Kearney Area Solid Waste Agency and has an estimated life of 35 years.

More than 1,400 residents participate in a curbside recyclables collection program. The sanitation division provides 90-gallon containers free of charge to residents who wish to recycle. The city also maintains recycling drop-off boxes at three locations.
Newspapers, magazines, junk mail, glass, tin, aluminum, plastic and cardboard are all acceptable items to be collected and processed. The residential recyclables, drop-off boxes and corrugated cardboard are processed at the recycling building. The recycling building processes 150 tons of material each month.

Welcome | Location | Tourism | Conventions | Business | Agriculture | Healthcare
Government | Quality of Life | Transportation | Sports | Education | Worship