Work is underway to incorporate 2,400 acres in southeastern Jefferson County into the Parklands of Floyds Fork project along the Floyds Fork watershed.
The start of the fourth and final phase was commemorated Wednesday by the project’s developer, 21st Century Parks and by several Louisville leaders, including Mayor Greg Fischer and Humana founder David Jones Sr., who helped launch and raise money for the project.
The final phase focuses on Turkey Run and Broad Run parks.
The project adds nearly 11 miles to the Louisville Loop, a paved walking, running and cycling path; new amenities for mountain bikes and the Brown-Forman Silo Center, a seven-generation dairy form that is being turned into a community space, among other things.
(Related: Past coverage of the Parklands of Floyds Fork project.)
Fischer says the Parklands project is comparable to those undertaken by noted landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted more than a century ago.
“We can sit here today and say the impact of the Parklands is certainly equivalent, if not expanding on, what Olmsted, and the Olmsted team and the city leaders did back then as well,” Fischer says. “So clearly this is a project not just for us, but it’s going to be not just for the next generation, but for the next 10 generations as well.”
Fischer adds that project will help Louisville in economic development efforts.
“When people are looking to locate jobs or move in the country right now, quality of place is such a tremendous issue in terms of where they decide to locate,” he says. “Parks are growing exponentially. The value of homes around parks is a key factor in the development of a city, as well.”
This phase of the construction is expected to cost $35 million, funded with contributions from the federal government and from donors.
The total Parklands project will have 4,000 acres.
It’s expected to be complete by 2015.