County Sports Park
recreation area could offer
much-needed practice space
Helen E. McKinney
BUCKNER, Ky. (March 2006) Oldham County is
constantly expanding its horizons. This is evident in the growing park
system, which may soon add a sports park to its list of recreational
by Darrel Taylor
would be located in Buckner.
Many feel that in a county with a swelling population,
more practice areas are needed for youth leagues. Such a venue for all
ages to enjoy is needed close to home. County officials are considering
options to convert 54-acres in Buckner into a sports park. The land
in question lies off of Hwy. 393 across from Wendell Moore Park.
This latest addition to the park system would lie between Oldham County
High Schools athletic fields and the Oldham County Country Club.
Judge-Executive Mary Ellen Kinser labeled this project a multi-use,
county owned park.
Nothing presently occupies this space that is leased from the Kentucky
State Reformatory. The land was farmed for a long time by the
State Reformatory, said Oldham County Parks and Recreation Director
Tim Curtis. The land will continue to be leased from this entity, said
Kinser said amenities would include baseball, soccer and softball fields
in addition to walking trails, a cross-country course, playgrounds and
picnic areas. The acreage contains a pond for educational purposes.
A shelter with restrooms and concessions is also purposed, said Kinser.
Brandstetter Carroll Inc. is the firm responsible for creating the preliminary
conceptual plans. Brandstetter Carroll presented several options for
this project before Fiscal Court on Jan. 3 and a public meeting was
held on Jan. 25 at the John W. Black Community Center to seek public
Patrick D. Hoagland, principal with Brandstetter Carroll, said that
most in attendance favored a plan that included three multi-use fields
on the north side with additional fields on lower terraced levels, basketball
courts, three baseball fields and 2.5 miles of walking paths. Three
parking areas and a road would be built through this area from Hwy.
393. Changes can still be made to the plan.
There will be large open fields, but a variety of areas and terrain
to work with, said Hoagland. The resulting passive-active area
will have a community park atmosphere.
Hoagland stressed the idea that this park would be for all sports. He
pointed out a growing interest in lacrosse and said certain areas were
great for environmental education.
County Sports Park Concept
The firm is also developing a master plan for the 227-acre
Morgan Conservation Park, a second proposed park for Oldham County.
Together, these two parks would add nearly 300 acres to the countys
park system. In recent years, Oldham County has exhibited a growing
interest in conserving greenspace for recreational purposes.
Because Brandstetter Carroll is well known for their park projects,
they were contracted to draft an evaluation of what we could do,
said Kinser. A selection committee chose the firm based on price, experience
and quality of work. They also designed a similar project, the Danville
Community input was also sought at a public meeting held in September
2005. Curtis said, This project has been in the works for awhile.
Within Oldham County, A lot of people compete for a lot of space,
said Curtis. In addition to game space, extra space is needed for teams
to practice upon. As the county population grows, these groups will
also continue to grow in size.
The continued fast growth of the county is really putting a strain
on our current facilities dedicated to all youth sports, said
Steve Bryant, president of the Oldham County Youth Soccer Association.
With a lot of families moving into the county, one of the amenities
that is expected is a facility for youth sports. We need to keep up
with the demand and expectations.
Bryant is a member of GreenFields, a group of community leaders and
parents whose children play in youth sports in the county. GreenFields
wants to be a public-private partner in developing this sports park.
Its goal is to provide access to shared resources such as grants, donations
Tim Kollenberg, vice president of the Oldham County Youth Football League,
said a sports park gives the opportunity to bring the community
together and bring in sports events. Last years Derby Cup,
a youth soccer event, added an estimated $225,000 to the countys
economy. It would bring recognition to the county, he said.
GreenField members would also like to see the 54-acres combined with
the nearby Oldham County Youth Soccer Complex to form one large multi-sports
Kollenberg considers this project a benefit to the school system. Depending
upon the sport being played, teams currently have to practice at area
elementary schools and prime real estate that is for sale. A growing
concern is the need for a patch of grass, said Kollenberg.
Fiscal Court has not set aside any funds for this project, said Kinser.
Grant possibilities are being considered. Input must also be sought
from county departments such as the countys road department, to
establish what the department is and is not able to do.
A lot of people in the community are begging for additional recreational
sports fields, said Kinser. Our goal is to start construction
this spring and open as soon as weather allows.
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