The Spirit of Nebraskaís Wilderness and Pioneer Courage Park - consists of more than 120 individual bronze pieces integrated within an urban environment that covers more than six city blocks. Individual sculpture pieces are one-and-a-quarter life-size and range in weight from 400 pounds to 12,000 pounds. In total the project took 400,000 man hours or 182 man years.
You can actually walk alongside pioneers and experience what happens when their wagon train startles a heard of buffalo and creates a stampede right through downtown buildings. That stampede, in turn flushes a flock of Canada Geese which fly from a spectacular fountain through the 40 story First National Bank Tower.
The Spirit of Nebraska's Wilderness
Sculpted by artist Kent Ullberg, Spirit of Nebraskaís Wilderness Park sits atop a granite fountain, where jets of water give the illusion of geese taking flight. Working in tandem with First Nationalís Pioneer Courage Park, the two sculptures begin with a wagon train startling a herd of buffalo, which in turn flushes the geese. Beginning at the southeast corner of 16th and Dodge Streets, the sculpture continues through the four corners of that intersection, and culminates in the Winter Garden. The first geese are composed in bronze, while more and more stainless steel is incorporated, until the last geese are entirely made of steel. This process is very complex, considering the two metals melt at drastically different temperatures. The traditional bronze alludes to Nebraskaís history, while a more progressive stainless steel points to the future.
- The fountain contains roughly 43,000 gallons of water and circulates over 159,000 gallons an hour.
- The fountainís base is made from Absolute granite, and the paving stones are Hayton stone, quarried near Valders, Wisconsin.
- Consisting of over 50 geese, each larger-than-life goose weighs approximately 200 pounds and was made from at least 12 different pieces.
Pioneer Courage Park
Working in conjunction with Spirit of Nebraskaís Wilderness Park, this sculpture begins at 14th and Capitol streets. It is the result of the collaboration of two artists, Blair Buswell and Ed Fraughton. Consisting of several pioneer families, Pioneer Courage brings to life an integral part of Americaís history and the part Omaha played in the migration and building of the West.
- The individual pieces that will make up the monument are cast predominantly in bronze and are 1.25 times life size.
- The landscape consists of 2,500 tons of limestone, or roughly 125 truckloads. Itís primarily Hayton stone quarried near Valders,Wisconsin.
- Begun in 2003, future phases are scheduled to be completed over the next several year
The Spirit of Nebraska's Wilderness and Pioneer Courage Park is located between 1400 Capitol Street and 1600 Dodge Street in downtown Omaha Nebraska. There is parking located both on street and off street adjacent to the parks. The park is easily access from I-480, exits are east bound is 3A and west bound is exit 3 to 14th Street then south to Capitol.