Community

City officials have unveiled a plan for a new education center at Shawnee Park. The facility would be called the Shawnee Outdoor Education Center and would include areas for rock climbing, canoeing, biking, fishing and more.

Louisville Metro Chief of Community Building Vincent James said it could be a great asset for the Shawnee neighborhood.

“We can be proud Louisvillians where the entire community can come to this recreation center and learning center and experience nature,” James said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to be a part of an administration that’s bringing all of that back to this city.”

Louisville Metro Chief of Community Building Vincent James at Shawnee Center AnnouncementKyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Louisville Metro Chief of Community Building Vincent James at Shawnee Center Announcement

But it may take years before the facility is built.

Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation Administrator Bennett Knox said the center could cost around $10 million to build, and he hopes to raise funds for the project by 2020. For now, the city and young people from Louisville’s SummerWorks program are building bike paths and other sites to prepare.

“We’re in the phase right now of really capacity building. We want to be ready when the center is constructed to be able to do the activities,” Knox said. “So a lot of things you’re seeing today are more about creating that capacity. It’s very important that this center be of the community, so building that capacity is absolutely critical for us.”

A bike path will be ready for public use in a few weeks, officials said.

Shawnee Park is the home of the Dirt Bowl and the Juice Bowl. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York City.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.