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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom 

Abramson Envisions ‘A Waterfront Park Southwest’

Wednesday May 31, 2006

Waterfront Development Corp. to Oversee Expanded Riverview Park

Mayor Jerry Abramson has unveiled a vision to turn Riverview Park along the Ohio River in Southwest Louisville into a destination place akin to Waterfront Park.

To turn dream to reality, Abramson has put the Waterfront Development Corp. in charge of the multi-year, multi-million effort, and the mayor’s proposed FY 2006-07 budget includes funding for a detailed master plan of the 87-acre park.

“Over the next decade, I believe we will bring to Riverview Park and Southwest Louisville many of the same kinds of offerings that have made Waterfront Park and downtown Louisville so special,” Abramson said.

Abramson expanded Riverview Park, located off of Greenwood Road, from 16 to 87 acres in late 2004 and commissioned the initial concept plan for an expanded park.

Based on input from scores of citizens who attended public meetings and council members, John L. Carman and Associates, an architectural design firm, has developed a concept plan that includes some of the most commonly requested features: an entertainment pavilion, a waterplay area, a dog run, hiking trails and more. Concerts, entertainment acts and community festivals could also be part of the mix.

“Riverview Park will become a spectacular recreational destination for community, sporting, and entertainment events,” Abramson said.

Abramson is turning to the same successful approach he used 20 years ago when he created the Waterfront Development Corporation to transform sand and scrap piles along Louisville’s downtown waterfront into an award-winning public park.

Like the Waterfront Park effort, Riverview Park will be built in phases with dollars committed from local, state and federal governments and financial support from private foundations, businesses and citizens, said David Karem, executive director of the Waterfront Development Corp.

“We will use the lessons learned from our successes here to transform Riverview Park into an exceptional destination park for citizens throughout the community,” Karem said.

The expansion of Riverview Park is part of a much greater blueprint that Abramson has developed to make Louisville truly “a city of parks.”

The blueprint includes:

  • Improving and expanding the existing Louisville Metro Parks, which include one of the largest collections of Frederick Law Olmsted designed parks in the world;
  • Developing thousands of acres of parks along Floyds Fork in Eastern Louisville in concert with businessman David Jones and his 21st Century Parks initiative;
  • Creating dozens of miles of biking and hiking trails to form a communitywide ring and;
  • Continuing to improve and expand the city’s award-winning Waterfront Park.

“Louisville has developed a national reputation as a ‘city of parks’ because of the vision, planning and continued investment we have made as a community,” Abramson said. “We must continue to turn vision into reality and build upon the special quality of life we enjoy.”