Louisville's largest park renovations now underway - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville's largest park renovations now underway

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- A significant milestone took place Wednesday, as Louisville gets ready to finish up the city's largest park project.

By 2015, The Parklands will stretch from Shelbyville Road all the way to Bardstown Road.

The northern portion of Beckley Creek Park is already open to the public.

The rest is right on schedule.

"Projects like this normally take decades," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

Fischer along with U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and other project contributors gathered for a ground breaking kicking off the construction of this fourth and final phase.

"I just appreciate the opportunity to play a small role in what I think is the most significant gift in the city of Louisville's history," said Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate.

21st Century Parks is the private, non profit organization behind the project.

Founder and CEO Dan Jones says they're dedicated to extending Frederick Law Olmsted's vision.

"Olmsted said a park should be an unfolding series of experiences and for those of you who've followed us from kind of the early groundbreakings, Beckley Creek Park in the north, you'll see that these parks are very different. They bring a different kind of park experience and that's by intent," said Jones.

"Olmsted Parks has stamped an indelible mark on our city in terms of who we are and how people enjoy the city we have," said Mayor Fischer.

The Parklands, in its entirety, is a $120 million construction project fully funded by a public-private partnership of local private donors, federal, state and city governments.

"Louisville is doing something here that every city should do but not every city is doing," Jones said.

"When people are looking to locate jobs and move in our country right now, quality of place is such an issue with where they decide to locate," Mayor Fischer said.

The master plan includes 22 miles of canoe trails along Floyds Fork Creek, playgrounds, walking paths, dog parks, fishing holes, ball fields, and 100 miles of new trails for hiking and biking.

Two more years of construction and The Parklands will be complete.

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