Wednesday February 20, 2008
Metro Parks and the Fight Crimes Against Children Partnership announced plans for a new playground and reflection memorial, to be built in two phases at South Louisville Community Center, 2911 Taylor Boulevard. The playground will be located behind the community center, while a granite and bronze memorial will be visible from Taylor Boulevard.
The privately-funded project's first goal is to build a new playground by July, while fundraising continues for the memorial.
"We're ecstatic that Metro Parks was able to find such a great spot for the memorial and playground," said Christopher 2X of the Fight Crimes Against Children Partnership. "Now that we know where it will be, our partnership will move forward with fund-raising for this most important project."
"It took us a few weeks to settle on the community center as the location for the memorial and playground, but we're excited that we found a great spot, and we're eager to get to work," said Mike Heitz, director of Metro Parks. Officials had considered other locations for the project before ultimately settling on South Louisville Community Center.
Heitz added that a new playground for children ages 12 and under will benefit families who use the community center throughout the year, especially during summer camps. Additionally, Metro Parks plans to work with Churchill Downs Chaplain Ken Boehm to draw the race track's diverse "backside" work force to the community center.
The Fight Crimes Against Children Partnership has grown to include several sponsors and supporters, including the O'Shea's Family of Pubs, Commonwealth Dodge and Churchill Downs. Metro Parks is designing the playground, while Muldoon Memorials and sculptor Ed Hamilton have donated their time to design the memorial.
Heitz and 2X explained that the non-profit Louisville Metro Parks Foundation is managing the funds collected by the Fight Crimes Against Children Partnership. Donations may be sent to:
Louisville Metro Parks Foundation
Attn: Fight Crimes Against Children Project
P.O. Box 37280
Louisville KY 40233-7280
Or, for more information, call 502/589-4009.
The memorial's purpose is to raise awareness about the problem of crimes against children, while commemorating young victims of violent crime. The effort was partly inspired by the murder of 4-year-old César Ivan Aguilar-Cano in 2007.