Cyclocross event leaves significant damage at Joe Creason Park
Muddy tracks can be seen throughout the park with deep grooves left in the wet ground.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Over 1,500 riders took to a tough course for a cyclocross event at Joe Creason Park over the weekend, and some people aren’t happy with what the event left behind.
Muddy tracks can be seen throughout the park with deep grooves left in the wet ground where cyclists were racing. The cyclocross course mostly ran through a section of the park called the Managed Meadows. The Kentucky Resources Council said this area should have been left untouched.
"We already have dedicated courses that could have been used without causing this kind of unnecessary and irresponsible damage,” Director Tom FitzGerald said.
Large sections of the meadows were ripped up by riders. FitzGerald said the races disturbed ecosystems and could have possibly introduced invasive species to the park.
"I think they're concerned, the people who live out here,” Runner Bill Cheadle said. “They want to see it nice and natural the way it's always been.”
Cheadle added that he hopes Louisville Metro Parks takes the necessary steps to repair the damage but is confident the grass will grow back by spring.
The department said it knew the races would have an impact on the park.
"There's a little bit of scarring that happens,” said Marty Storch with Metro Parks. “With any major event, you're going to have issues with where people walk, where people ride, where people bike.”
Despite the damage, the city believes it was a positive event for the community.
"People from all over the world were in Louisville, Kentucky, at Joe Creason Park,” Storch said. “The zoo benefited from it. Our hotels benefited from it."
There is a plan in place to clean up the mess and repair the damage. Crews will use high-quality turf seed to help the grassy areas regrow. The process is more time-consuming than costly, and the city says it will spend a few hundred dollars seeding.
"And next spring, it will be a beautiful park again,” Storch said. “Just like it's still a beautiful park."
The Cyclocross National Championships will be held at Joe Creason park next year, so it’s possible the same areas of the park could be damaged yet again.
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