If you are looking for a place to social distance yourself and/or your family during these current challenging and unprecedented times, I would like to recommend the Greensward in Broad Run Park. The Greensward may be a place that you have passed many times in your travels through Broad Run Park but have never really known its purpose or intent! You may have thought that it was too nice or manicured to venture out onto, but at The Parklands we do not have a “stay off my lawn” mentality!
You may now be asking yourself, what is the Greensward? The Greensward is the strip of connected lawns between the first parking lot and Cliffside Center in Broad Run Park. It is a sprawling 15 Acres of cool season turf that starts at the park road before passing the Louisville Loop and then wraps itself around the backside of the Cliffside Playground, stopping just short of Floyds Fork and our Riparian Ramble Trail. The Greensward is outlined by our paved Greensward Trail (.67 miles) that follows the perimeter and contour of the lawn while starting and ending at different points of the Louisville Loop.
The idea of the Greensward was conceived during design and construction of Broad Run Park. The Parklands Team wanted a green space that provided the same benefit as the Egg Lawn in Beckley Creek Park, but wanted to give the lawn its own unique look and feel. That’s when the idea of cascading lawns was born. Standing at the park road and looking west the lawns gently slope towards Floyds Fork and the towering cliffs that guard the park below. The four flowing lawns differ in shape, size and grade, giving it the intentional look of a green cascading waterway snaking through the valley floor. The Greensward name pays homage to Frederick Law Olmsted’s original name for his plan for Central Park in New York City.
Because of its size and shape, the Greensward gives you the perfect opportunity to practice your social distancing skills! There is plenty of room to fly a kite, have a picnic, kick a ball around, or just lay back while enjoying some fresh air at a safe distance from others. The Greensward is one of my favorite spots in the park, and I welcome others to find it and take in its vastness. Let your creativity wander as we all try to stay healthy and happy amidst our world’s current struggle.
About the Author
Kirk Dolan joined The Parklands team as Park Superintendent in December 2017. In this role, he will oversee maintenance of the nearly 4,000-acre Parklands of Floyds Fork. A Louisville native and graduate of Saint Xavier High School, Kirk attended Western Kentucky University where he studied Turfgrass and Golf Course Management and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. He built up his professional experience working for golf courses and clubs as near as Bellarmine University and as far as San Diego, CA. He returned to Kentucky in 2005 to become the Golf Course Superintendent at Charlie Vettiner Golf Course, beginning a 13-year career with Louisville Metro Parks. In his most recent role as Parks Administrator for Louisville Metro Parks, Kirk managed golf courses, athletic fields, cemeteries, parks construction and event management. Kirk serves as a Board Member for the Kentucky Sports Turf Managers Association and is active in giving back to the community, supporting Junior Achievement programs and construction of the UPS “The First Tee” Golf Course at Seneca Park. In his free time, Kirk enjoys hiking, mountain biking, traveling, home DIY projects and hanging out with his wife and two children.