Staff Spotlight: Ali Greenwell
What is your role at The Parklands?
I work closely with our horticulture, natural areas, fundraising, trails, and education teams to identify volunteer projects and connect interested participants with opportunities that spark their curiosity. I also lead the Parklands Ambassador program and manage relationships with partners like the Louisville Dog Run Association and the Jefferson County Extension Office.
How does your team keep The Parklands safe, clean, fun and beautiful?
Our Parklands Ambassadors serve as extra sets of well-trained eyes and ears out in the parks. They not only help us in the visitor interaction arena, but also keep us posted of any trail hazards, vandalism, or suspicious activity they might see happening out in the parks.
We host a Spring Creek Sweep every year where volunteers come together to help us clear litter and debris from our beloved Floyds Fork. We also have various corporate, school, and scout groups who host cleanups around the park throughout the year.
Our awesome horticulture and natural areas volunteers work hard to keep our parks looking great year-round! On any given Wednesday morning, you can spot them helping us spread mulch, weed garden beds, remove invasive species, and much more.
What are you most proud of in your work?
I’m proud of the special experiences we get to provide for volunteers. 10, 20, 30 years down the road, I want them to be able to walk past a healthy forest that used to be a farm field and know that they had a hand in making it possible. Planting a tree can be a powerful thing!
What inspires you to come to work every day?
Our volunteers! Am I sounding like a broken record yet? They are all phenomenal, big-hearted people who regularly gush about how much they love the park. Their passion and enthusiasm for The Parklands is contagious and I feel truly lucky that they choose to spend their precious free time volunteering with us. It’s the best motivator out there!
A group of dedicated volunteers who help to keep The Parkland’s safe, clean and beautiful!
Which trail would you recommend to visitors and why?
For a quick hike, I love Valley of the Giants in Beckley Creek Park because it showcases the enormous Sycamore trees that line Floyds Fork. For a fast and fun thrill, I love riding Crazy Red’s trail in the Silo Center Bike Park.
Which “thing to do” at The Parklands is your favorite and why?
The Silo Center Bike Park is my favorite because not only is it a lot of fun to ride, but it’s a place where you can see community building in action. Riders of all skill levels and abilities gather at the trailhead to share knowledge and stories and I love that the bike park provides an inviting space for those interactions to take place.
In your opinion, what makes The Parklands worthy of support?
Parks have played such an important role throughout my life, providing a safe space to explore, learn, think, and grow. Ensuring that people can have that same opportunity at The Parklands 100 years from now is one of the many reasons I think our parks are worthy of support.
How would you say “Thank You” to someone who donates to The Parklands, or who is thinking about donating?
Whether you are donating your time or your money, you can rest assured in knowing that your investment is going toward creating rich outdoor experiences not only for our park users today, but for the next generations to follow. THANK YOU!