NORFOLK, Neb. -- A groundbreaking for a community project took place in northeast Nebraska Tuesday. 

The City of Norfolk broke ground on the North Fork River Restoration project in Johnson Park Tuesday morning.

The project had been planned for decades but since 2018, the city has been raising funds to start construction on the project.

Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning said the project was made possible due to partnerships that the city created.

"We found a way to pay for it without raising taxes or going to a bond issue and again that's because of the partnerships that were formed with the state of Nebraska, with the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District, with the private sector contributing money to move this forward, with the city budgeting its keno funds to go to parks improvement," he said. 

The project will see more recreation space be added to Johnson Park and will remove spillways for a river trail.

Other amenities to be included are an amphitheater, playground equipment, and an ice skating rink.

Mayor Moenning added that the city hopes the project will help bring in more people to Norfolk.

"We're trying to flip the script and say, look in order to grow, in order to be successful as a community and retain young people and be attractive to newcomers, we're going to have to invest in ourselves," he said. "It gets back to the history of the community, it helps restore a place that was very important for Norfolk coming to life. It's a back to the future project and I think it's going to bring benefits for generations to come."

Norfolk has already completed two parts of the North Fork Development Project prior to Tuesday's groundbreaking.

If you're interested in donating to the project, visit this link.