Scott Martin, executive director of the River Heritage Conservancy

Scott Martin, executive director of the River Heritage Conservancy, speaks about an Ohio River park plan in Clarksville in August 2019. (WDRB photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Scott Martin is leaving as executive director of the River Heritage Conservancy, where he has guided an ambitious parks project along the Ohio River in southern Indiana since 2017.

Martin plans to depart the post in mid-January to take a job in a southeastern U.S. city. He declined to provide more details until an official announcement is made.

He will be replaced by Susan Rademacher, a former president of the Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy from 1991 to 2007 and then parks curator with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy until 2020.

Martin said the decision to move on was “incredibly difficult.” Before starting his work on Origin Park, which envisions hundreds of acres of riverfront park space, he was parks director for the Parklands of Floyds Fork in eastern Jefferson County, Ky.

“To be a part of two of the bigger part projects undertaken in Louisville and southern Indiana as one community is a remarkable opportunity,” he said. “I was so lucky to be a part of both because these are projects that will shape the city for hundreds of years to come.”

During his tenure with the River Heritage Conservancy, the nonprofit group created a master plan for Origin Park, began buying land and commissioned an economic impact study. The conservancy has control of more than half of the 600 acres included in a 2020 master plan.

And while there is no timeline for completing the project, Martin said land acquisition and the overall schedule are ahead of expectations.

“I'll say this was some pride: I think it's one of the best park plans I've ever seen in its elegance, its simplicity, and its embrace of a very historic and culturally sensitive landscape,” he said.

Kent Lanum, the conservancy’s board chair, said in a news release that Martin “achieved beyond our expectations during these founding years.” In succeeding him, he said, Rademacher brings “years of direct experience.”

“As we move from park planning to project execution, we are excited as to what lies ahead under her leadership,” Lanum said.

Rademacher said she is excited to “come home and do what I love best.”

“Parkmaking is the art of connecting people and place, and I can’t think of a better opportunity to do that for an area I love and a project like no other.”

Previous coverage:

Group plans ‘world-class’ Indiana riverfront park near Falls of the Ohio

Ohio River parks plan in Clarksville secures land for first phase

Master plan, name unveiled for Ohio River park in southern Indiana

Silver Creek paddling trail marks first project in ambitious southern Indiana park plan

Origin Park study touts economic and health benefits

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