West LouisvilleKY Outdoor Recreation Initiative master plan to be unveiled next week

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Meeting to be held at Whitney Young Elementary on May 31st


Louisville, KY., – A master plan detailing future outdoor recreation opportunities in west Louisville will be unveiled during a public meeting at Whitney M. Young Elementary School on Tuesday, May 31 from 6:30–8:30 p.m.

“The master plan for the West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative is the result of a lot of hard work and thought about how to make nature-based programming and environmental education more accessible to families in those neighborhoods,” said Director of Metro Parks and Recreation Seve Ghose. “We’re hoping for abundant feedback on the plan as this initiative continues to evolve.”

In addition to programming and education, the West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative (WLORI) also envisions developing infrastructure in west Louisville that would help support outdoor programs, including cleaning up the pond in Chickasaw Park for safe fishing, providing access to the Ohio River for boating and canoeing, and areas for nature play and exploration.

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The plan also includes creation of the Shawnee Outdoor Learning Center in Shawnee Park, which would serve as the focal point for outdoor recreational programming in west Louisville. Metro Parks and Recreation’s Natural Areas Division, based at Jefferson Memorial Forest, currently spearheads the Louisville ECHO program (Engaging Children Outdoors) that provides environmental education to students who live inside Louisville’s urban core. The Shawnee center would expand on that effort and house it in a more central location.

The rollout of the master plan also kicks off a major fundraising effort to support the implementation of WLORI-related programs.The public will also have its first chance to see a video describing the initiative at the meeting at Whitney M. Young, which is located at 3526 Muhammad Ali Boulevard. Mayor Greg Fischer said the WLORI initiative reflects all three of my administration’s main goals: That we become a community of lifelong learning; that we are a healthier city; and an even more compassionate city.”

“This project will help ensure that everyone in our community has safe places where they can get outside, learn to fish, to hike, to paddle a canoe, and to engage in a lifelong appreciation of our environment,” he said.

“In recent years Metro Parks and Jefferson Memorial Forest staff have provided many opportunities for our young people to learn about and participate in numerous outdoor recreational activities in our parks in West Louisville,” said Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, whose District 5 includes Shawnee and Chickasaw parks.  “Numerous residents have provided input and helped shape the master plan for the West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative so I invite the community, especially the residents of District Five, to come out on May 31st and hear what is planned to go forward in bringing the benefits of the great outdoors and nature-based activities to life for the young and old in our West Louisville community.”

In addition to Metro Parks and Recreation, the initiative is being supported by the National Park Service and Wilderness Louisville, the non-profit organization supporting Jefferson Memorial Forest and the Natural Areas Division of Metro Parks.



Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation, a nationally accredited parks and recreation agency, manages 120 parks and six parkways on more than 13,000 acres of land, and operates recreation programs for all ages.  Its mission is to create a City of Parks where people can play, learn, grow and be healthy.  The mission is accomplished by taking care of all parks properties and creating new ones, by providing safe and diverse recreational programs, and by protecting our public lands and resources for future generations. www.bestparksever.com

The 6,600 acre Jefferson Memorial Forest, a woodland tribute to those Kentucky veterans who have served our nation during times of war, is Jefferson County’s largest nature preserve and one of the largest municipal urban forests in the nation.  The Forest is the flagship of Metro Parks’ Natural Areas Division which is entrusted with providing stewardship, nature-based educational programming, and outdoor recreation within nearly 7,000 acres of forest, meadow, and riparian habitat across Louisville Metro. Jefferson Memorial Forest offers a full range of recreational amenities, including weekend education and adventure programs, hiking trails, camping, fishing, horseback riding trails and picnic areas.

The Jefferson Memorial Forest Welcome Center is located at 11311 Mitchell Hill Road. For more information: 502-368-5404, or visit www.memorialforest.com.


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