The Best Places for Sledding in and around Louisville Friday, Nov 1 2019 

Sledding in Louisville Winter is really upon us with crisp air and snowy nights!  Growing up in NY, I loved to sled but our yard was flat so sledding had to take place elsewhere. Problem was, in NY, when it snowed, IT SNOWED and there was no way my parents were driving us out in the snow so we had [...]

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Victory Park Renovations Complete With Community Input Friday, Jul 19 2019 

Norman Parker says he remembers a time when Louisville was tearing out the playgrounds and benches in the parks around the California neighborhood.

But on Friday — more than a decade later — Mayor Greg Fischer, the Olmstead Conservancy and neighbors cut the ribbon on a $1.1 million revitalization project at Victory Park in that neighborhood.

The 4.4 acre park now boasts a new playground, splash pad, walking path, basketball court and other amenities.

Parker was among community leaders who helped guide the project.

“The park is the heartbeat of the neighborhood,” Parker said. “And so to be a part of what it is now, to see them making investments, and to see them making it where the kids can come and play, that alone speaks to the change of the neighborhood.”

With funding from community partners, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy and Louisville Parks and Recreation worked with neighbors to design a park for the neighborhood, by the neighborhood.

Residents had a hand at nearly every point in the decision-making process, Parker said.

“What Olmsted went in and implemented was what the community voiced their opinion on,” he said.

The improvements at Victory Park are part of the city’s larger plan to reinvest in west Louisville. Fischer said that includes about a billion dollars in investment — the most in generations.

“I think in many ways this renovation is a reminder of what’s going on in west Louisville these days,” he said.

Victory Park is also just one of a number of other parks that have recently received, or are undergoing renovations. New playgrounds are being installed or were recently installed at Boone Square, Algonquin and Elliott Square Park.

Tyler Park in east Louisville is currently undergoing its own $1.1 million renovation. Last year, workers completed the Bonnycastle Pavilion at Cherokee Park.

Parker also said the changes at Victory Park underscore the progress the city has made in the West End. People are already using the park more than in the past, he said.

And he says that’s important, because the park is a community space.

“The park is where people come together in times when they’re sad, happy, celebrating, mourning,” Parker said. “No matter what we’re dealing with, whether it’s a loss, a death, a celebration of life, a birth, we utilize the park.”

Project donors included the Humana Foundation, James Graham Brown Foundation, Kosair Charities and PNC Foundation, Brown Forman Foundation and GE Appliances.

Ryan Van Velzer | wfpl.org

Cherokee Park Wednesday, Apr 18 2018 

Cherokee Park is a 409-acre municipal park located along Cherokee Parkway and Grinstead Drive in The Highlands neighborhood of Louisville. The park was designed by famed park architect Frederick Law Olmstead in 1891 on part of a 4,000-acre military land grant from 1773. Two tunnels carry I-64 under Cherokee Park, built in the late 1960s to help lessen the impact the highway would have on the parkland. The park was damaged in the 1974 Super Outbreak, where thousands of mature trees were decimated by the tornadoes in early April of that year. With help from the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 and consultation of the original Olmstead plans, Cherokee Park was brought back to life with 2,500 trees and 4,600 shrubs. Daniel Boone Statue in Cherokee Park Amenities at Cherokee Park Several amenities and landmarks dot the green space in Cherokee Park, including the 2.43-mile Scenic Loop. The mixed-use road circles the heart of the park, providing motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians with plenty of room to explore. Big Rock is a large rock in Beargrass Creek, which is used as a picnicking spot and -- for the crazy ones -- a place to take a dive into the creek. A fenced-off dog park at Baringer Hill provides Fido and Fluffy with unleashed fun. The hill itself is also perfect for those days when the winds are right for kite flying. Speaking of dogs, there's also a place for your pups (and ponies) to take a cool drink called Hogan's Fountain. The fountain is atop a hill within the Scenic Loop and was sculpted by local artisan Enid Yandell in 1905. The area around the fountain includes the Hogan's Fountain Pavilion -- a teepee-styled gazebo and gathering spot for the entire city -- baseball diamond, and basketball court. Other amenities at Cherokee Park include bike trail; spray pool at Hogan's Fountain; gravity hill on Scenic Loop; a nine-hole golf course; picnic areas; and fishing at Willow Pond. Events at Cherokee Park The majority of happenings at Cherokee Park occur in the neighborhood of Cherokee Triangle, the biggest happening being the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair. The juried fair hosts over 200 booths filled with arts and crafts as far as the eye can see. Held in late April every year, on the weekend before the Kentucky Derby, the two-day affair attracts over 20,000 annually. Following the fair from Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Cherokee Triangle Concert Series features artists from jazz, blues, swing, rock and more. On the night before the Kentucky Derby, head over to Cherokee Road and Spring Drive to see celebrities and VIPs walk the red carpet at the annual Barnstable Brown Gala. The affair is one of the biggest Derby parties around, with hundreds waiting outside the Barnstable-Brown Mansion to catch a glimpse of today's hottest stars from Hollywood, music, and Louisville's society scene.

E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer Park Wednesday, Apr 12 2017 

EP Tom Sawyer Park entrance signE.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park is a 550-acre park in Louisville, located off of Westport Road in the Freys Hill neighborhood. Opened in 1974, Tom Sawyer Park was established on land previously owned by Central State Hospital, and named after Louisville native Diane Sawyer's father, Jefferson County Judge/Executive Erbon Powers "Tom" Sawyer. Amenities at Tom Sawyer Park Amenities at Tom Sawyer Park include two hiking trails: a 1-mile Fitness Trail where all can enjoy the various maples, oaks and sycamores along the way, then stop at the fitness area for strength and cardio training; and the 1.25-mile Goose Creek Trail, where hikers can happen upon American turkeys, several wild birds, and white tail deer appearing from the woods and grassy meadows. Dog owners can bring Fido and Fluffy to the dog park in the northeast corner of Tom Sawyer Park. The six-acre facility is split into three two-acre tracts: one for dogs under 30 pounds, and two for all dogs. You can also keep their leashes in your bag, as the park is an off-leash zone -- the first of its kind in Louisville. Access is available with a membership to the Louisville Dog Run Association. Stargazers can keep looking up with the Louisville Astronomical Society's monthly Star Parties. The free events at LAS' astronomy center at Tom Sawyer allow any and all to bring their telescopes and binoculars to see the amazing wonders in the night sky. Space programs and telescope lessons round out the offerings. Athletic types have a wide range of activities awaiting them at Tom Sawyer, from basketball and archery, to soccer and BMX; the BMX course at the park is one of the best in the nation, and is host to the National BMX Grand Championships every Labor Day weekend. Hobbyists also have a home at Tom Sawyer. Gardeners can purchase a plot for the season for $32, growing whatever they desire while socializing and sharing tips with other gardeners. Meanwhile, the skies above the radio-controlled airfield are perfect for testing and flying their RC model airplanes. Events at Tom Sawyer Park You'll never run out of things to do at Tom Sawyer Park. In March and April respectively, the annual Irish Classic 10K and Goose Creek 5K challenges runners as they attempt their personal best. Archery camps and lessons throughout the year help prepare future Katniss Everdeens for the winter archery competition in January. The Inflatable 5K isn't so much a run as it is a a bouncy good time, and is a great way to welcome the summer every June. And if you ever wanted to get married at Tom Sawyer, the annual wedding show at the Sawyer Hayes Community Center in January can give you a few good ideas on how to plan and spend your special day.

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Waterfront Park Sunday, Apr 9 2017 

Waterfront Park is an 85-acre municipal park draping the northern portion of Louisville along the Ohio River. The park first opened in 1998, and has expanded over the years with future phases up and coming. The land making up Waterfront Park was used for industrial purposes prior to its construction, but also holds a rich history dating back to Louisville's early days in the late 1770s. Over 1.5 million visitors explore the park annually. Waterfront Park, Louisville KY Amenities at Waterfront Park Waterfront Park is home to two major pieces of the puzzle: the Great Lawn and the Big Four Bridge. The former is used for a handful of festivals and concerts throughout the year, and is a perfect place to catch a few rays or watch the barges and steamboats traverse the Ohio. The latter began life as a railroad bridge, which fell into disuse between 1969 and its transformation into a pedestrian bridge between 2009 and 2014. If you're wanting to give your data plan a break, Waterfront Park has free Wi-Fi, the largest park in the U.S. to offer such service. Linear fountains, docks for boats, and a long mixed-use trail encircling the city are also at Waterfront Park. Events at Waterfront Park Waterfront Park is home to several large gatherings and events throughout the year. The month of April occupies the Great Lawn and the Big Four with all things Derby, beginning with Thunder Over Louisville, the largest annual fireworks display in North America. Over 600,000 attend Thunder annually, taking in the afternoon airshow and evening celebration of fire and thunder. Following Thunder on the last days prior to the Kentucky Derby is the Kentucky Derby Festival's Fest-a-Ville. Concerts, the Chow Wagon, rides, and several events fill the days leading up to the biggest show in horse racing with joyous celebration. On the last Wednesday of every month from April to September, local radio station WFPK-FM hosts its Waterfront Wednesday concert series on the Great Lawn. The free concerts feature a mix of blues, jazz, rock, folk and more, and are a great way to get over the hump near the end of the month. In mid-July, the Great Lawn comes to life with the annual Forecastle Festival, which has called Waterfront Park its home since moving from nearby Riverfront Plaza/Belvedere in 2010. The three-day music festival welcomes over 75,000 attendees from all over the United States and beyond, showcasing a wide range of bands and genres every day. Forecastle is also an art and activism affair, with an emphasis on sustainability. PHASE 4 In April of 2017 the city annouced that Phase 4 of the park would begin to take shape, starting with a 4.5 acres that will be used for an MSD project. Phase 4 encompasses 22 additional acres and will help connect 7500 people who live within a 15 minute walk in the Portland neighborhood with recreational and entertainment options. Phase 4 will be divided into multiple sections with names such as Container Park, Confluence Plaza, Exerscape and Foundry Gardens. As we learn more about the design, we will update this post.

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