LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Three Jefferson County parks will soon undergo major improvements, thanks to more than $300,000 in grants. 

The grants were awarded Tuesday morning inside Metro Hall. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, along with the mayors of Louisville, Prospect and Middletown, gathered to celebrate the grants that will go toward improving parks in Jefferson County and making them more accessible for everyone.

Jefferson Memorial Forest -- specifically the Tom Wallace Lake portion -- will get $200,000 to install an ADA compliant path, along with a board walk, a charging station for cars and more. A complete list of improvements includes:

  • The reconstruction of two existing parking areas to double parking capacity to 60 spaces (including eight accessible spaces);

  • The installation of a two-bay electric vehicle charging station and creation of a bus turn-around within the main parking area closest to the park entrance;

  • The replacement of a picnic pavilion;

  • The reconstruction and expansion of an existing picnic area into one that is accessible;

  • The creation of a formal canoe and kayak launch;

  • The repositioning an existing fishing pier to a more favorable location;

  • The creation of a boardwalk across Tom Wallace Lake;

  • The installation of basic park amenities such as benches and a swing within a new shoreline promenade area; and

  • The creation of seven formal fishing areas along the lake shoreline.

Little Hunting Creek Park in Prospect will get $110,000 to make a fully accessible green space with a pavilion, playground and walking trails.

"Little Hunting Creek Park is a grassy, beautiful acreage lying between our City Hall and the entrance to one of our neighborhoods, Fox Harbor," said Mayor John Evans, in a statement. "We are about to develop it into a park featuring walkways, lighting, benches, fountains, a children's playground, a pavilion for concerts, plays and other events, and an expanded parking lot next to City Hall. It looks like we will break ground quite soon. The playground will be 'community build,' meaning we are buying the equipment, but resident volunteers will assemble it."

Lastly Wetherby Park in Middletown received a $49,000 grant to add a playground and parking as well as benches and extended walking paths.

"This is a great example, governor, of how the state and suburban cities can work together," said Middletown Mayor J. Byron Chapman. Governor, the lifestyle that grant will support enhances quality of life as we talked about earlier and the youth of Middletown and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

The grants for the parks are from the federally funded Land and Water Conservation Fund. 

Gov. Beshear says these grants will greatly improve parks and attract visitors during a time when everyone wants to be outside their house more after the pandemic.

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