Local News
6:00 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Group Says More Accessibility, Spending Needed in Louisville's Parks System

Louisville sits near the bottom of the 60 largest U.S. cities in the latest rankings of park systems conducted by the Trust for Public Land.      

Rendering of Beckley Creek Park in southeastern Louisville
Credit Parklands of Floyds Fork

But the Washington-based organization says the city’s score will likely improve as the new 21st Century Parks initiative is completed.

Peter Harnik is director of the Trust’s Center for City Park Excellence.    He says Louisville is tied for 58th place with Indianapolis in this year’s rankings.

"In several cases, the city has a ways to go.  In terms of playgrounds, enough playgrounds for the residents, enough parks that are close by, easier to reach, walking distance for the residents.  And spending money to keep the current system up and beautiful," Harnik said. 

Metro Parks officials point out that some of the accessibility issues would not have existed prior to the 2003 city-county merger, and the accessibility benchmark used in the rankings skews in favor of more densely populated areas.  

Harnik says the effort to add more park space in southeastern Louisville will improve accessibility for thousands of people.

This year’s rankings were expanded from 50 to 60 cities.  Louisville was tied for 49th last year. Minneapolis tops this year’s list.