In January 1998 the E.K. & Mary Yanney Heritage Park idea was introduced to the public. The park idea was conceived from a meeting between Michael B. Yanney, a native of Kearney, and city park officials. Based on his philanthropic values and a strong sense of community, Mr. Yanney wanted to do something special for other families who call Kearney home. The acquisition of 80-acres in southwest Kearney was made and the park was named in honor of Mr. Yanney’s parents, E.K. and Mary Yanney.
The process has been unique in that it is a donor driven park. Each park component is endowed of its cost to be put into a growth account to be used for future repair or maintenance. There has been tremendous success with the private donations and a variety of public matching grants to create park components.
The park has its own Foundation and it is responsible for the development of the park. Upon completion of the park the Foundation will deed it to the City of Kearney for only the cost of ongoing maintenance.
Yanney Heritage Park has come a long way over the years. Steadily, an 80-acre cornfield has been transformed into a first-class city park with many unique features. The park has been and continues to be blessed with many generous donations and is well on its way to becoming one of the finest city parks in the Midwest.