Playground and Sprayground supported by $1.5 million city funds
Louisville, Ky. (August 23, 2010)—Mayor Jerry Abramson and officials from 21st Century Parks were joined by local preschool children today to break ground for The Creekside Playground and Sprayground, the initial demonstration project for The Parklands of Floyds Fork.
The Parklands is the nearly 4,000-acre public park system 21st Century Parks will develop and manage along the Floyds Fork watershed in eastern and southeastern Louisville.
The $1.86 million Creekside Playground will open in spring of 2011. Mayor Abramson and Louisville Metro Government provided $1.5 million of the project’s cost and the remaining funds were raised through private donations. Metro Parks is managing construction on the project with Kentucky-based Marrillia Design and Construction serving as general contractor.
“It’s exciting to break ground on a project that in the short term will provide new play and recreation opportunities for children and families of this area,” Abramson said. “It’s also the beginning of a visionary project that will add to Louisville’s strong legacy of parks and recreation for generations to come.”
Located just south of I-64 at Beckley Station Road and Wibble Hill Road, the playground will become part of Beckley Creek Park, one of the four major parks to be developed within The Parklands. The playground will be adjacent to the future site of the Egg Lawn— a 30-acre “great lawn”-style anchor for the park.
“Now is when we begin to see the vision for The Parklands start to take shape and transform into a reality for the community,” said Dan Jones, CEO of 21st Century Parks. “We are grateful and appreciative to the mayor and the Metro Council for helping make this first project happen.”
The Creekside Playground will feature a variety of swings, slides and climbing structures, as well as a separate splash-play area with interactive water-spray elements. The project also includes a shaded picnic shelter, fully accessible restroom facility, adjacent parking area and ornamental landscaping and stonework. The playground is located near a small tributary of Floyds Fork that will allow children to experience and interact with the waterway.
The playground will be one of the most ADA-accessible in the city, Jones said. Project designers worked closely with the DREAM Foundation of Kentucky to create a place where children of all ages and physical conditions can play together.
Work on the rest of the Parklands, including walking, hiking and biking trails, a scenic park drive and other park amenities, will begin in the spring and be complete in three to five construction seasons.
First environmental project also underway
In addition to the construction of the Creekside Playground, 21st Century Parks has begun work on its first environmental-improvement project.
An invasive species removal project is currently underway in forested areas between Seatonville and Broad Run roads in southern Louisville. The area will become Turkey Run Park, which at 1,076 acres will become one of Louisville’s largest parks.
“We are working to remove plants not native to Kentucky that are out-competing our local plants for space in the woods,” said Scott Martin, The Parklands’ park director, who is leading the project. “These invasive species crowd out the local plants and wildflowers, and if they’re not controlled, they can completely overtake a forest.”
Showcasing native forestland is a priority for The Parklands, as more than 80 percent of its roughly 4,000 acres will be maintained in its natural state.
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. Information is available at www.TheParklands.org.