WDRB gets a sneak peek at master plan for west Louisville parks - WDRB 41 Louisville News

WDRB gets a sneak peek at master plan for west Louisville parks

Posted: Updated:
The pond at Chickasaw Park is polluted The pond at Chickasaw Park is polluted
A sign warns people not to eat fish from the pond because of contamination A sign warns people not to eat fish from the pond because of contamination
Kevin Richie teaches his daughters how to fish at Chickasaw Park Kevin Richie teaches his daughters how to fish at Chickasaw Park

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Canoeing, boating and fishing are coming to west Louisville parks. Metro Parks and Recreation will unveil plans Tuesday night to the public.

It was a picturesque scene at Chickasaw Park on Friday, as a momma goose led her chicks across the pond in a perfect line, with poppa goose behind them.

A stone bridge over the pond added to the serenity.

"Chickasaw Park is one of the most historic parks in the city, one of the Olmsted Parks," said Cheri Bryant Hamilton, democratic councilwoman for district five. "Chickasaw initially, back in the early days, was the park for blacks, so I came here in the 3rd grade on picnics, field trips."

"Back in the 20s and 30s and 40s, this was the park," she said.

A father spent Friday afternoon at the Chickasaw Park pond patiently teaching his two young daughters his favorite pastime: fishing.

"I've been fishing, I think since I came out the womb," Kevin Richie said. "My grandfather used to take me when I was little." 

He admits, the pond at Chickasaw Park is not what it used to be.

"It used to look a whole lot better," said Richie. "I guess everybody gave up on it. You can't really eat the fish out of here -- not no more -- so we just catch 'em and throw 'em back in."

Bryant Hamilton has not given up on the park where she grew up.

"We've been concerned over the years about the pollution, the low-level contamination," she said. "This is something people have been concerned about since the 90s, so that you could fish and eat, not just fish and release." 

Signs warn people not to eat fish from the pond, as they may be contaminated. The contamination at the pond will be cleaned up for safe fishing. It is just one part of a huge, master plan being unveiled to the community Tuesday, called the "West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative."

"We're surrounded by the Ohio River in this part of town and in my district, but we haven't had access to the river," Bryant Hamilton explained.

Families will be able to canoe and go out on a boat with a dock at Shawnee Park.

"I think that might be my favorite, because we haven't had access to bring your motor boats down, and everyone's been talking about it for years," Bryant Hamilton said.

And one building at Shawnee Park will be turned into an Outdoor Learning Center.

"This center is going to be a focal point for bringing young people and families together to learn more about nature and outdoor recreation, relieve stress, just have fun and enjoy the great outdoors," said Bryant Hamilton.

The plan will cost millions of dollars, coming from the city budget, grants and other sources. Bryant Hamilton promises it is going to happen.

"Gotta get the money first, gotta get the money first, but it's happening, it's happening. We may see the boat ramp next year," said Bryant Hamilton.

The plan will make sure families can enjoy west Louisville parks and their beauty for generations to come.

To learn more about the plans, you are invited to come to the meeting, Tuesday night from 6:30-8:30 at Whitney Young Elementary School. The rollout of the master plan kicks off a major fundraising effort, and also provides the first chance for the public to see a video describing the plans.

Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

  • Sign Up for WDRB's Sports Newsletter

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.