Monday August 9, 2010
Lauds ‘vision’ of project to create 4,000 acres of public parks in Floyds Fork watershed
Gov. Steve Beshear and Mayor Jerry Abramson today announced a commitment of $10 million to The Parklands of Floyds Fork – a visionary project to create a new system of public parks covering approximately 4,000 acres of the Floyds Fork watershed in Jefferson County.
“We are making an investment in a vision,” Gov. Beshear said. “The vision is of a world-class parks system that will become a treasured legacy for the people of Jefferson County and the region. Every generation that comes to enjoy these parks and the Floyds Fork watershed will represent a return on that investment.”
“The Floyds Fork parks project is providing a tremendous gift for Kentucky,” said First Lady Jane Beshear. “With 4,000 acres of space, the parks will provide ample opportunity for recreation and adventure tourism, such as hiking, bicycling and canoeing, as well as a picturesque place to spend time with family and friends.”
The Governor and Mrs. Beshear were joined in a ceremonial check presentation by Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, David A. Jones Sr. and Dan Jones. The Joneses – father and son – founded 21st Century Parks, a nonprofit organization that is overseeing the design, construction and management of The Parklands of Floyds Fork. The project comprises four major parks stretching 27 miles through the largely undeveloped watershed.
Funding being committed by the Governor – $10 million over five years – is from the federal Transportation Enhancement program and would support 21st Century Parks’ development effort.
“We are grateful to have the support of Governor Beshear and the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the creation of The Parklands,” said Dan Jones, chairman and chief executive officer, 21st Century Parks. “We’ve designed a master plan for the nearly 4,000 acres of parklands to provide unique opportunities for recreation, education, economic development and environmental preservation for generations of Kentuckians.”
“What we are creating in Floyds Fork will ensure that generations of Louisvillians have access to quality recreational opportunities and natural greenspace,” Abramson said. “It will be to our community’s future what our Olmsted-designed parks have meant to Louisville’s quality of life for more than a century”.
The Parklands will include more than 100 miles of multi-use recreational trails, a portion of the Louisville Loop, children’s playgrounds, a canoe trail, ball fields and other recreational and natural amenities.
All the parks within The Parklands will be interconnected by a continuous scenic park drive and a 20-mile portion of the Louisville Loop, a paved multi-use hiking, walking and cycling path. The park drive is a series of newly constructed roads in combination with existing roads to provide a beautiful driving experience. Approximately 80 percent of the land will be maintained in its natural state.
Major construction on the Parklands is expected to begin in spring of 2011, with the first components opening in 2012. Ground will be broken for the Parklands’ initial demonstration project – a creekside playground and spray park, funded primarily by Louisville Metro Government – later this month.
About 21st Century Parks
Founded in Louisville in 2004, 21st Century Parks is the nonprofit organization leading the creation and management of The Parklands of Floyds Fork – a new, 4,000-acre public parks system along the Floyds Fork watershed in eastern and southeastern Louisville. The new parks system is one of the largest and most ambitious metropolitan park projects in the nation.