Thursday September 23, 2004
Mayor Jerry Abramson today announced plans to expand Riverview Park to nearly 90 acres – five times its current size – and develop plans for a new regional sports complex.
Riverview Park, located off Greenwood Road along the Ohio River, will expand from 16 acres to 87 acres under the plans announced this morning. More than 20 acres in the expansion will be set aside to construct a regional sports complex that could be home to the Valley Sports Little League. Louisville Metro Government will allow Valley Sports Little League officials to lease 12 to 15 acres while the organization raises money to build a ballfield complex. A baseball team from Valley Sports won the Little League World Series in 2002.
“We have a unique opportunity to make Riverview Park a spectacular new community park,” Abramson said. “We have the opportunity to dream about what is possible for this park and for this part of our community.”
Abramson and Metro Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-12, have worked over the last two years to set aside about $360,000 for a long-term Riverview Park master plan and begin work on the regional sports complex.
With the funds, park officials will hold hearings to seek public input about the park’s future, do initial construction work on the land involved, and create long-term proposals for the park’s future development.
Part of the park expansion land is in the district of Metro Councilman Bob Henderson, D-14, who also has been involved in park planning efforts.
Among other things, Abramson said, the master plan may include items such as:
Improved docking areas to create better access to the river
Walking and hiking trails
Expanded picnic areas and playgrounds Recreational fields for sports and other activities
Valley Sports Little League officials will be able to use up to 15 acres in the northeast corner of the expansion area for a ball field complex.
Valley Sports officials will work to raise the money to build the complex. “The expansion of Riverview Park to create Southwest Louisville's only ‘community park’ is especially exciting," Blackwell said. "It enhances one of our already beautiful park spaces and creates an opportunity for a sports complex that could serve the needs of our young athletes and become an economic development boost to the area as well."
"This project is a dream come true for so many of us in the South End," Henderson said. "Not only are we getting a home for Valley Sports, we're gaining about 60 acres of usable, beautiful park space for our community."
The expansion is possible because the land involved is part of the Community Improvement District. In the 1960s, voters through a referendum approved the creation of a Community Improvement District, which was established to purchase land for flood protection. The land could also be available for recreational and park uses.
"In recent years, Riverview Park has become an increasingly popular place form which to take a boat ride on the river or to enjoy the scenery,” Abramson said. “This park has been a hidden treasure for the people of southwest Louisville and the entire community. But it needed attention. Today, we’re bringing that attention and focus to this jewel and making it even better for the future.”