Local News

Park(ing) Day Returns

Local transportation advocates are hoping for a more successful Park(ing) Day this year.

On Park(ing) Day, participants around the world temporarily turn metered parking spaces into small green spaces. Last year, Metro Government shut down one such park over safety risks and a lack of permits.

This year, organizer Branden Klayko has coordinated with the city. He’s planning to have proper clearance for seven parks.

“We approached the Mayor’s office with our ideas for Park(ing) Day this year and are working with various city agencies to make sure all necessary precautions are coordinated ahead of the September 16 event,” he says. “We are reaching out to gauge community interest in the concept and to find creative designs for the seven planned “parklets.” We wanted to bring the community on board in an open process rather than decide everything behind closed doors.”

Klayko and Urban Design Studios are currently accepting proposals for the designs of the parks. The deadline for submissions is midnight tomorrow. Park(ing) is September 16.

Local News

Environmental Association Restates Position Against Planned Renaming of East End Parks

The Floyd’s Fork Environmental Association has recently taken a position against a proposal from 21st Century Parks to rename both Floyd’s Fork Park and William F. Miles Park.

21st Century Parks’ is creating a new public park system in the east end of Louisville that will incorporate both Floyd’s Fork and Miles Park into new, larger parks.

Mike Farmer is the co-president if the Floyd’s Fork Environmental Association. He supports 21st Century Parks, but says they shouldn’t have to change the names of public facilities.

“I’m all for the new park system, but you’re talking about two parks that are already well named; everyone knows them by Floyd’s Fork Park and Miles Park. 21st Century Parks has a lot of information, but none of it really makes sense or makes any rationale for the name changes,” he says.

Metro parks will hold a public hearing to discuss the renaming at the Floyd’s Fork Park Community Center at 6:00 pm on Thursday.

Local News

Save the Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion Group Asks Council for Support, Plans Fundraiser

The Save the Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion group will hold a fundraiser tomorrow night to raise money to repair and preserve the 46-year-old structure.

The pavilion, commonly called the tepee, is not part of the Metro Parks Department’s master plan for Cherokee Park, but the city has agreed to keep it standing if $82,000 can be raised to repair the roof.

About $27,000 has been raised so far, and Save the Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion has asked the Metro Council to agree to donate $40,000 in matching funds. No decision on that request has been made, though Councilmembers Tina Ward-Pugh and Tom Owen have both pledged money to save the pavilion.

The fundraiser will be at the O’Shea’s and Flanigan’s restaurants in the Highlands.

Local News

Otter Creek Park Re-Opens

Calling it an “adventure tourism paradise,” Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear re-opened Otter Creek Park Wednesday.

The Meade County park was previously run by Louisville Metro Government, but the city closed it at the beginning of 2009 due to budget cuts.

The park will now re-open under the operation of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. Admission is no longer free. It will cost $3 to enter the park. Governor Beshear says that money will not go into the state’s general fund.

“That revenue will be used to maintain the park and to operate the park, and obviously I think Fish and Wildlife will probably put more money into it than the small fees will bring, but the fees should at least help support the maintenance of the park,” he says.

Beshear says he’s not sure how much it will cost to operate the park, but when Metro Government ran it, Otter Creek cost the city about half a million dollars every year.

Local News

Metro Parks Finishes Controlled Burn in Jefferson Memorial Forest

A controlled burn of some seven acres of vegetation at Jefferson Memorial Forest Tuesday went smoothly.

The fire began at 10:45 am and lasted less than three hours. The burns have been used for several years and are meant to let native plants flourish while destroying invasive species.

Metro Parks spokesperson Margaret Brosko (BRAH-skoe) says another is planned for Iroquois Park.

“It is on the list, but it just depends if the weather cooperates, because we’re in that situation right now where it’s kind of touchy because things are greening up a little bit. So we just want to make sure we don’t get too far into the season.”

Brosko says if the Iroquois Park burn isn’t done this week, it won’t happen this season.

Local News Next Louisville Politics

TARC Takes Public Comment on Louisville Loop Service

The Transit Authority of River City is taking public comments on a proposed new bus service that connects various parks to the Louisville Loop.

Two people showed up for an open house on the plan Tuesday afternoon. One of them, John Owen,  said TARC should improve its current services, rather than add more.

“To me the service should attract and appeal to the masses. You know healthy hometown grant aside or not they’re extending the 63 bus to cover this so why could not our regular 43 and 27 route cover this?” he said.

The other half of the audience, Friends of the Louisville Loop member Stewart Burn, said the route will help familiarize people with the loop.

“It’ll be a good first start,” he says.  “You know we’ll see how people use it and primarily I understand that this is meant for people that aren’t exercising, that aren’t biking or aren’t walking to get them interested and show them where the route starts.”

TARC is funding the service with $300,000 from a federal grant, and the money can’t be used on other services. TARC did, however, recently use federal money to improve two existing routes.”

The grant will cover the new route for one year. Service begins in May.

TARC will accept comments online or by phone or mail until March 18th.

Local News

Metro Parks Seeking Input On Louisville Loop Exercise Path

by Sheila Ash

Metro Parks is seeking public input on signage for an exercise path around the city.

Runners, walkers and cyclists are invited to the Shawnee Golf Course Clubhouse Monday evening to discuss the development of a sign direction master plan for the Louisville Loop.

The Loop is a 100 mile shared-use paved path taking people from the Ohio River through several parks around the community.

A 7.9 million dollar federal grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is helping to fund the master plan project.

The meeting at 6:30 pm.

State of Affairs

Let's Go to the Park! Metro Parks Update

This summer, are you looking for plans close to home? Outside activity inside the Louisville Metro? Then you shouldn’t forget Louisville Metro Parks, a network of over 124 parks and 14,000 acres that is constantly changing and making improvements. Join us Wednesday as we get an update on Louisville Metro Parks.

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Local News

New Dog Run Opens On River Road

by Gabe Bullard

A fourth dog run, where pets can be let off of their leashes, has opened in Louisville.

The new dog run in Champion’s Park at the old River Road Country Club site, covers about 4 acres. St. Matthews resident Sally Hallman says she likes it more than the other facilities she visits, so she brought her dog to Champion’s Park for the run’s grand opening.

“We were at Cochrane before this opened, but we like this one better,” she says. “It’s just larger and there’s more grass and there’s just a lot more space for the dogs to run.”

The city’s other dog runs are at Charlie Vettiner Park, Cherokee Park and E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.

The new run cost about $30,000, which was raised by the Dog Run Association. To use any of the area runs, dog owners must purchase a permit for each pet.

“Once you have a permit, though, you can visit any of the dog parks in the Louisville Metro area,” says Dog Run Association president Brian Davis. “As far as the fee, the first dog is $30 and then the cost goes down the more dogs you have. The second dog is $20, the third dog is $10 and then each dog after that is $5.”

Local News

Olmsted Conservancy Seeking Donations To Fight Invasive Plants

by Gabe Bullard

The Olmsted Parks Conservancy is seeking donations to help fight invasive plants in its Louisville parks.

The conservancy is 150 thousand dollars away from reaching a 5 million dollar goal to fight invasive plants. President Mimi Zinniel says the alien species began thriving in the park after the 1974 tornado, and left unchecked could devastate wooded areas.

“…the bush honeysuckle, the winter creeper, porcelain-berry and other damaging plants and vines that suck the life out of the soil and kill the native plants,” she says. “Without attention, half the trees in Cherokee Park could be dead in ten years.”

The conservancy hopes to receive 150 thousand dollars in donations by June 1st. If it does the James Graham Brown Foundation will provide an additional $900 thousand toward the fight against invasive species.