Sunken Gardens are pictured at 27th and Capital Parkway on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

With Earth Day and finals week studying occurring at the same time, here are five exemplary study spots while enjoying Earth’s finest creations. Whether you have a hundred pages to read or a few dozen pages to write, there’s a magnificent open-air location waiting for you.

Union Plaza, Billy Wolff Trail

If you’re looking for a close option to campus, take a quick bike ride down the Billy Wolff Trail to find your perfect study scene at the Union Plaza. Accessible by driving, walking and biking, this local gem is located north of O Street between 21st and 22nd streets. You’ll be able to find both water features and artwork along the trail to rejuvenate the mind. Public restrooms are also available near the Hub Cafe. This lively location won’t leave you to study alone. Union Plaza tends to be bustling with all sorts of pedestrians, friendly dogs, bikers and the occasional music group. If the sounds of the city and overhead traffic doesn’t appeal to you, a pair of earbuds might be your best friend. 

Holmes Lake Park, 70th and Normal

If you have the means to travel a little further, Holmes Lake Park serves as a great study location for both individuals and groups. Picnic tables and outdoor pavilions are available, but you are welcome to bring your own blankets and chairs to fully indulge yourself in nature. With a 112-acre lake, there is always wildlife — including fish, birds and turtles — to adore while hitting the books. If you’re looking to take a break from your computer screen, hit up the volleyball courts or take a jog on the 3.4 mile trail around the water.

Sunken Gardens, 2600 D St.

A beautiful gallery of fresh blooms can be found at the southeast part of downtown Lincoln. Indulge in the flora and fauna while preparing for your final exams. With thousands of flowers, hidden benches and water features, you’ll never be bored of the exquisite view. There’s a variety of benches to sit on, but you may want to bring your own blanket with. While you’re visiting, make sure to take a break from the books for an impromptu photo shoot among the garden beds. These gardens will allow you to spice up your Instagram while also working on the grind. 

Pioneers Park Nature Center, 3201 S Coddington Ave.

Take your books and a blanket and escape campus for the afternoon. If you’re feeling adventurous for a longer trip across town, this 668-acre nature preserve will bring you back to the early pioneer days with its bountiful prairies and wildlife. Study breaks are a must at the nature center, where daily viewings of the bison are available. Park benches and picnic tables scattered throughout the park will give you a variety of scenic study locations with hiking trails just a few steps away. Some personal favorites reside with the rustic pillars in the park and the picnic tables near the sledding hills. These picnic tables present a breathtaking view of the vast hills and fields below. 

The Mill Coffee and Tea, 330 S 21st St. or 800 P St. #100

The great outdoors aren’t for everybody. If you’re looking for some fresh air while still enjoying easy access to Wi-Fi, grab a sip of your favorite coffee drink from The Mill. While there are four locations in Lincoln, these two are just close enough to campus that you can stop by in between classes for a quick refreshment and study hall. Come by yourself or with a study group and enjoy the plentiful indoor and outdoor seating while finishing up the semester.