Monday August 5, 2013
City officials joined neighbors today to celebrate more than $760,000 in renovations and improvements at Charlie Vettiner Park in eastern Louisville. The additions include a new walkway, new parking spaces, speed humps, and drainage improvements—all identified by park users as high priority needs. The construction focused on the first phase of work outlined in the park’s master plan.
Mayor Greg Fischer was joined by Metro Councilman Stuart Benson, in whose 20th District the park is located, as well as Councilmen Robin Engel and Kevin Kramer, all of whom pooled their council district funds to support the construction work.
Fischer said the project helps create a healthier city, with improved access to recreation and exercise.
“These improvements will make this popular park more attractive and easier to use for the thousands of families and individuals who enjoy it for picnics, golf and recreation of all kinds every year,” Fischer said. “I know Charlie Vettiner would be appreciative of the hard work by the Councilmen in continuing to improve his namesake park.”
Once known as Chenoweth Park, the nearly 300-acre park was renamed in 1985 to honor Vettiner, a long-time parks director who was instrumental in the purchase of the land in the late 1950’s as part of his initiative to develop a ring of suburban parks.
“Charlie Vettiner Park is one of our community’s great assets,” Benson said. “I am proud to have the support of neighboring Council members Kramer, Engel, and our Metro Council colleagues as we have worked, since 2006, to secure $215,000 in Council Infrastructure Funds and $460,000 in added General Funds for phase one of park improvements.”
“Vettiner Park is a true ‘diamond in the rough’ with its unparalleled natural beauty and open green space,” Engel said. “I am proud to be a sponsor of this project, and to the best of my ability, I intend to work towards funding the Charlie Vettiner Park Master Plan Project on a long-term basis to ensure its prominent place in our community, alongside other outstanding parks such as Cherokee and Seneca parks, for many years to come.”
Kramer added, “I am pleased with the modest improvements that have been made to the park and look forward to greater enhancements hopefully funded in next year’s budget.”
Metro Parks Director Mike Heitz expressed appreciation for the support of the Mayor and Metro Council in helping to ensure that Vettiner Park continued to enjoy improvements, which include a new clubhouse for the golf course, completed in 2011. He thanked park users and neighbors for participating in developing the park’s master plan, which was finalized in 2012.
“We rely upon the input and insight of citizens when developing plans for our city parks,” said Heitz. “Our staff worked with many people who know and love this park to establish priorities, such as controlling traffic flow and enhancing pedestrian safety, improving drainage, and using ‘green’ infrastructure practices to accomplish these goals.”
The work includes improvements along Charlie Vettiner Park Road, including 33 curbed parallel parking spaces, a wooden rail to prevent off-road driving and parking, and speed humps to reduce speeding through the park. A 1,500-foot concrete walkway was also constructed, which connects to an existing walking loop.
Stone headwalls have been added at culverts under the roadway to stabilize and prevent erosion. Culvert inlets and outlets were cleared and excavated where needed to improve drainage.
Additional parking areas at the lake overlook and along the disc golf loop have been repaved. The new parking areas are constructed of more environmentally-friendly permeable asphalt and grass cell paving. The disc golf area has 34 new parking spaces and the lake overlook area, 17 spaces.
The project was designed by Environs Inc., Landscape Architects. The project contractor is Advanced Paving.