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Louisville's City of Parks Project Wins National Recognition

Tuesday May 10, 2011

Parks expansion, improvements cited as a Top 25
Innovations in Government

Louisville’s City of Parks project – one of the largest parks expansion efforts in the U.S. – has been named a “Top 25” program in the Innovations in American Government Awards.

“As Mayor, I want Louisville to be best in the world and the plans for expanding and improving our parks and greenspaces -- and the outstanding partners engaged in the effort – will help set our city apart, making it a better place to live and more attractive for new companies and jobs,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.

The awards, sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation, recognize outstanding programs that improve quality of life for citizens. The 25 were selected from more than 500 applications. Five finalists and one winner will be announced later this year.

Louisville’s City of Parks initiative includes the addition of 4,000 acres in east Louisville, creating four major parks along 15 miles of the Floyds Fork corridor – the Parklands of Floyds Fork -- spearheaded by 21st Century Parks.

Major improvements and additions are also being made to many of Louisville’s existing Metro Parks including the signature urban parks designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Plans also include continued expansion of the 6,200-acre Jefferson Memorial Forest and the development of the Louisville Loop – a multi-use path of more than 100 miles which will ultimately encircle the entire community.

City of Parks is the most comprehensive effort to grow and improve Louisville’s parks system since the creation of the Olmsted parks – an inner circle of 18 parks and connected parkways – more than a century ago.

“This year’s Top 25 Innovations in Government demonstrate smart solutions to a range of social issues – from expanding green spaces in urban areas, aiding low-income residents with achieving home ownership, and better preparing our next generation of teachers, to fostering economic growth by scaling up home grown industry,” said Tony Saich, director of the Ash Center. “These Top 25 show that innovation is indeed flourishing at all levels of government.”

The Top 25 Innovations in Government offer unique solutions in health and wellness, social services delivery, the environment, economic development, and education policy areas. Read the Top 25 program descriptions.