Kentucky – Funding to Improve Parks in Jefferson County

Gov. Beshear Announces Over $350,000 in Funding to Improve Parks in Jefferson County

Parks projects are in Louisville, Prospect and Middletown

LOUISVILLE, KY (STL.News) Governor Andy Beshear presented $359,146 in awards to enhance accessibility and improve three parks in Jefferson County:  Jefferson Memorial Forest in Fairdale, Little Hunting Creek Park in Prospect and Wetherby Park in Middletown.

“These projects benefit parks that serve all of Jefferson County,” said Gov. Beshear.  “With today’s awards, we are continuing to build a better Kentucky by making sure our recreational spaces are safe and accessible for all Kentucky families.”

The funding comes from the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).  To receive the federal funds, which are administered at the state level by the Department for Local Government, selected applicants must undergo federal review and receive approval from the National Park Service.

Jefferson Memorial Forest/Tom Wallace Recreation Area Improvements

Gov. Beshear presented a $200,000 LWCF grant for improvements to the Tom Wallace Recreation Area at Jefferson Memorial Forest.  The funds will go toward the construction of a 3,960-foot-long paved path.  This new path will allow visitors to travel from the front of the park to the back of the park around the lake.  The path will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In addition to the construction of this path, the funds will also be used for:

  • The reconstruction of two existing parking areas to double parking capacity to 60 spaces (including eight accessible spaces);
  • The installation of a two-bay electric vehicle charging station and creation of a bus turn-around within the main parking area closest to the park entrance;
  • The replacement of a picnic pavilion;
  • The reconstruction and expansion of an existing picnic area into one that is accessible;
  • The creation of a formal canoe and kayak launch;
  • The repositioning an existing fishing pier to a more favorable location;
  • The creation of a boardwalk across Tom Wallace Lake;
  • The installation of basic park amenities such as benches and a swing within a new shoreline promenade area; and
  • The creation of seven formal fishing areas along the lake shoreline.

“There is a noticeable theme that runs through all three grants that were announced today: a civic commitment to conservation and equity.  That commitment is shared by the Governor and my fellow mayors who strive to make the outdoors more amenable to everyone,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.  “Thank you to Gov. Beshear for these funds that will help improve our Jefferson Memorial Forest and make other green spaces more inviting throughout the community.”

Little Hunting Creek Park

The Governor presented a $110,000 LWCF award to the City of Prospect to improve Little Hunting Creek Park.  The funding will help build a pavilion, picnic areas, a playground, walking trails and bench areas as well as plant a hedgerow along U.S. Highway 42.

“Little Hunting Creek Park is a grassy, beautiful acreage lying between our City Hall and the entrance to one of our neighborhoods, Fox Harbor,” stated Mayor John Evans.  “We are about to develop it into a park featuring walkways, lighting, benches, fountains, a children’s playground, a pavilion for concerts, plays and other events, and an expanded parking lot next to City Hall.  It looks like we will break ground quite soon.  The playground will be ‘community build,’ meaning we are buying the equipment, but resident volunteers will assemble it.”

Wetherby Park

Gov. Beshear presented an LWCF award for $49,146 to the City of Middletown for Wetherby Park.  The funds will go toward adding playground equipment, parking on the west side of the park and installing benches.  This project is part of Middletown’s larger vision for the park, which includes expanding walking trails as well as restrooms.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund grant helps Middletown support active lifestyles of Middletown residents,” said Mayor J. Byron Chapman.  “By enhancing the amenities at Wetherby Park with an expanded walking trail, play equipment and restrooms, it becomes a destination for every family to enjoy the outdoors.  Grants like this help small cities improve the quality of life for every resident.”

The LWCF provides federal grant funds to protect important natural areas, acquire land for outdoor recreation and develop or renovate public outdoor recreation facilities such as campgrounds, picnic areas, playfields, swimming facilities, boating facilities, fishing facilities, trails, natural areas and passive parks.