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Metro Parks Newsroom

Planning Process for Jefferson Memorial Forest Kicks off with Public Meeting

Thursday May 15, 2008

Citizens can help shape the future of the 6,191-acre Jefferson Memorial Forest during a public meeting on Wednesday, May 21. Based in part on feedback from the meeting, Metro Parks will develop a comprehensive master plan for the nation's largest municipal urban forest by fall 2008.

The public meeting takes place at 6 p.m. at Fairdale High School, 1001 Fairdale Road. The agenda includes an overview of the planning effort, a summary of information gathered so far, and opportunities to offer suggestions on recreational opportunities in the forest.

At future meetings, citizens can review and respond to conceptual plans for the forest and help shape a detailed vision for expansion of the forest, facility development and public programs. The planning process will also explore possible routes through the forest for the paved Louisville Loop trail.

Citizens who are unable to attend the meeting can offer feedback, review planning documents and sign up for e-mail notices about future meetings here.

Expansion of Jefferson Memorial Forest is a major component of the City of Parks initiative announced by Mayor Jerry Abramson in 2005. The City of Parks initiative includes the acquisition and development of new park land, significant improvements to existing parks, development of a paved Louisville Loop trail of more than 100 miles encircling the community, and connecting the community to parks through improved stewardship and nature education.

The Jefferson Memorial Forest master planning effort is being managed by Metro Parks, with consulting services provided by Jones & Jones Architects and Landscape Architects, LLC. The Louisville Metro Parks Foundation is providing $200,000 for the project, with an additional $80,000 from Louisville Metro Government and $20,000 from the Louisville Metro Council -- $9,000 from Vicki Welch (D-13), $5,000 from Rick Blackwell (D-12), $2,000 each from Kelly Downard (R-16) and Madonna Flood (D-24), and $1,000 each from Bob Henderson (D-14) and Dan Johnson (D-21).

Jefferson Memorial Forest is a woodland tribute to those Kentucky veterans who have served our nation during times of war. Outdoor environmental education programs are offered at the forest, providing learning opportunities for thousands of students and teachers each year. The forest offers a full range of recreational amenities, including weekend education and adventure programs, hiking trails, camping, fishing, horseback riding trails and picnic areas. For more information, go to