It feels like I don’t agree with our local and state government very often these days. But one thing I whole-heartedly applaud is our leaders’ efforts to build and brand Louisville the City of Parks.
You see, our national reputation isn’t very good.
You’d think the land of Bluegrass, home of the Kentucky Derby, with the world’s leading thoroughbred horses, our status as a “green” city would be appropriate.
Sadly, this isn’t the case.
According to the Trust for Public Land’s (TPL) ParkScore, Louisville is currently ranked a disappointing 38th out of the 40 metro markets considered.
To be fair, part of issue is within their methodology. Acreage accounts for merely 33 percent while Services & Investment and Access make up the other 67 percent.
Defining access as “percentage of the population living within a ten-minute walk of a public park” rewards condensed demographics, while penalizing larger, more spacious cities like Jacksonville, Oklahoma City and Louisville.
Their Services & Investment category is even more baffling. In their attempt to value activity over mere grassland, they’ve combined a monetary value that rewards cities with higher amounts of tax dollars (even national grants!) and playgrounds per resident.
Let’s take a look at why Louisville’s City of Parks deserves more than a paltry low ranking from a government bureaucrat.
Namely, the Parklands of Floyds Fork projects. The big picture of what Louisville is, and more importantly, will be can be seen in the map below.
A big part of what is happening right now, is the work being done in and around Floyds Fork.
Here are the four parks: Beckley Creek Park, Pope Lick Park, Turkey Run Park and Broad Run Park. Let’s briefly look at each, starting in the north.
Construction on Beckley Creek Park began in 2011 and portions are already open! The primary entrance is located on Shelbyville Road, just East of the Gene Snyder Expressway.
When complete, this great Louisville park will boast:
- Sports Fields
- Fishing Ponds
- Playgrounds and Picnic Pavilions
- Canoe Launches
- Walking/Hiking Trails
Pope Lick Park (Opening 2013)
Connecting to the South is Pope Lick Park. Aside from continuing our largest Louisville Loop, walking/biking trail, this park will also include:
- Soccer Fields
- Extensive Trail System
- Trestle Point
- Canoe Launches
Primary access to this park will be off Old Taylorsville Road.
This portion of the park system ties Pope Lick Park from the North to Turkey Run Park in the South. It is centered on Echo Trail Road and does not have a major gateway park entrance.
Follow this link for the full Floyds Fork map.
Turkey Run Park will continue the loop further south. Work has not begun but will shortly. Plans include the following park features:
- Adventure Programming
- The Silo Center
- Renovated Event Barn
- Caternary Bridge with Scenic Overlook
- Dark Park – Future Permit Campsites
- Playground and Event Lawn
More information on each park can be found by following the links in this story.
Lastly, Broad Run Park completes this section of Louisville’s park system all the way to Bardstown Road.
A few of the features will be:
- Heart of the Waterfall District
- Bark Park and Picnic Pavilion
- Cliffside Playground and Recreational Loop
Records show Louisville parks amount to just shy of 14,000 acres. Upon completion, expect the new parks to contribute another 4,000.
Other good news boosts confidence that all that is planned should arrive because 21st Century Parks Inc. recently reached the $120 million needed for these parks.
As a local Realtor, I take great pride in Louisville putting its best face forward. I believe these efforts will pay dividends for years to come.