Press Room


Omaha: Heartwood Preserve’s Award-Winning Greenways and Heartwood Park Set Opening Dates for Summer

Heartwood’s innovative approach to public space utilization and preservation becomes reality as Phase I opens to public June 1st

Omaha, Nebraska -- March 11, 2021 -- The promise of Heartwood Preserve in Omaha, one of the largest urban developments in the United States, has taken a giant step toward fulfillment. Applied Underwriters, owner of the over 500-acre tract in West Omaha, announced today that the development’s Greenway along Pacific Street will soon be completed, Heartwood Park will soon complete Phase 1 construction, and both will open to the public June 1st in time for summer. Future Phases 2 and 3 at Heartwood Park will include the completion of additional infrastructure such as the reconstruction and restoration of the old Boys Town barn, an ice rink, a bandshell and many other landscaping features.

The award-winning multi-use development, Heartwood Preserve includes the Greenway system preserve that will secure permanently 80 acres of open space, eight miles of trails, thousands of trees and 13 iconic water basins that will feature important works of land art while also mitigating flood-risk, according to Mr. Bart Emanuel, National Director of Development and Construction at Applied Underwriters, who noted: “The vision that our Chairman, Steve Menzies, presented in 2019, and the timeline for the realization of this development are coming to fruition despite setbacks caused by the pandemic and some weather delays. Our fellow Omaha residents and friends from the larger region, starting June 1, will have a beautiful, fresh, well-conceived recreational and personal renewal space that has few peers in the US. We are all quite excited.”

Applied’s Chairman, Steve Menzies, who conceived the project with its unique variety of facilities for public, corporate and retail access – all, thoughtfully executed, environmentally responsible and designed with respect for the area’s topography and physical characteristics – including Applied’s own operations campus that will live harmoniously on the landscape, inviting townhouses and suburban-styled residences, mixed retail units and many acres of opportunities for recreation and good living.

According to Mr. Menzies: “Heartwood is not simply good corporate citizenship to us as occupants of our future operational headquarters; instead, we view it as an extension of our culture of service and care beyond the letter of the contract or the policy. Through Heartwood, we articulate in design, landscape and openness itself the measure of Applied’s dedication to serving our neighbors. This is the guiding principle we adopted and have the pleasure, now, of seeing it articulated as sections of the public areas come to completion.”

Mr. Menzies pointed to the Greenway aspects of Heartwood that have received three prestigious landscape and sustainability design awards from The American Planning AssociationThe American Society of Landscape Architect’s Northern California Chapter and The Architecture MasterPrize: “These accords honor excellence in architectural, interior and landscape design from around the globe, offering testimony to the viability and the desirability of our guiding principles,” he added.

Meyer Studio-Land Architects (MS-LA) designed and oversaw the construction of Heartwood Greenways and Heartwood Park. David Meyer, principal and founder of MS-LA, described with special pride the water basins within Heartwood’s Greenway system: “This presents to the visitor a sculpture park of land art that celebrates the process of capturing rainfall.” He continued: “They are not meant simply to look beautiful, but to have the capacity to store an estimated 169 acres of stormwater runoff, helping prevent erosion, detaining water, properly and recharging aquifers while providing flood protection to adjacent properties and farmland.” Mr. Meyer noted, “There’s nothing like it in Omaha, and as flooding becomes an annual problem in this part of the country, it is a formula that will prove exemplary.”

For further information, contact:
Ryan Gerding, Public Relations, at (913) 602-8531 or at

Heartwood Preserve (
Located in Omaha, NE, Heartwood Preserve is a 500-acre mixed-use urban development with roughly 80 acres devoted to green space, eight miles of bike paths and open trails, and over 10,000 newly planted trees. Offering a wide variety of retail, commercial, residential and recreational facilities on an environmentally observant landscape, Heartwood Preserve is designed to become a top destination for the greater Omaha area and surrounding region.

Applied Underwriters (
*Applied Underwriters® is a global risk services firm that helps businesses and people manage uncertainty through its business services, insurance and reinsurance solutions. As a company, Applied Underwriters has been distinguished by its innovative approaches to client care and by its strong financial strength. Applied Underwriters operates widely throughout the US, UK, EU and Middle East. Its operational headquarters is located in Omaha, Nebraska. *

MS-LA crafts distinct landscapes that unite artistry and technical precision, drawing inspiration from the physical site and the surrounding culture, creating spaces that endure and will be beloved for generations. Nature is used heavily in its projects, to animate and distinguish landscapes. MS-LA believes that for landscape to succeed it must be holistic, thoroughly researched, well-constructed and beautiful.

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