This month's A Rich Past, pertains to the forming of the Deer Park Neighborhood Association (DPNA). After making a few phone calls and acquiring 1980’s Omaha Neighborhood Association directories, I learned the following about DPNA's founding. According to a former and long serving DPNA board member, DPNA was formed in efforts to protect the land where interstate I-80 now cuts through the neighborhood. I was informed that soon after the announcement of the interstate project, neighborhood advocates Rudy Novaceck and Frank Janiak filed to start a neighborhood association. By1982, our organization was in the Omaha Neighborhood Association Directory. It reports Mr. Janiak as the president with the neighborhood association boundaries set from 13th street to 24th street, and from C Street to Castelar. Unfortunately, archives are missing the 1983 directory, but by 1984 Rudy Novacek was our president. In addition to his works with our community group, Rudy was also a founding member of the South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance and the Inner-City Coalition on the Environment (ICE). He served as an ICE board member for for nearly 15 years.
I would like to take a moment to thank Mr. Janiak, Mr. Novacek, and the other members that rallied to start DPNA. Their service to our city and community lives on as we continue to serve as they did. If you have any information that would add to this story please contact me and share your information.
Oscar Duran: Deer Park President