Fork Greenway Project
being created from watershed
from several counties
will soon be able to
run, bike, canoe and bird watch in park
Helen E. McKinney
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 2007) An expansive parks project
is under way in eastern Jefferson County that will eventually allow
area residents of neighboring counties to also enjoy natural resources
and outdoor activities along miles of greenway and wooded areas. Pathways
and waterways will connect Jefferson with Oldham, Henry, Bullitt and
Shelby counties, allowing runners, bicyclists, canoeists and bird watchers
to escape to the serene outdoors, and only minutes from the city.
Kentucky Edition Cover
The Floyds Fork Greenway Project is a component
of a larger project, the City of Parks initiative, which the Metro Louisville
Parks Department began in February 2005. In addition to a 27-mile corridor
along the Floyds Fork watershed area, this project calls for a
100-mile paved Metro Loop pedestrian and bicycling trail that will begin
in Louisville and stretch to outlying cities, continued expansion of
the Jefferson Memorial Forest, and capital improvements to existing
Metro Parks is cooperating with 21st Century Parks and Future Fund to
create a system of interconnecting parks in the Floyds Fork watershed
Overall our goal is to have 4,000 acres of park land, said
Kevin Beck, project manager for 21st Century. The entity has amassed
close to 3,000 acres but is still acquiring land for the project.
The greenway corridor will stretch from Shelbyville Road to Bardstown
Road and conserve many cultural and natural resources. Floyds
Fork is a 62-mile creek originating in western Henry County, Ky., and
flowing southwest into the Salt River in Bullitt County, Ky. The watershed
drains a 284-square-mile area.
Floyds Fork was named for Col. John Floyd, who mapped the Louisville
area in 1774 along with a party of surveyors from Fincastle County,
Va. The town of Floydsburg in Oldham County is named for him, and he
is supposedly buried there or in the St. Matthews area of Jefferson
The watershed area remains similar in geography to when Floyd discovered
it. The area is comprised of breathtaking vistas, fossil beds, meadows,
forested hillsides, abundant wildlife and indigenous plants.
by Helen McKinney
watershed of Floyds Fork Corridor
is being converted into an outdoor
recreation area that will serve residents
in Jefferson, Oldham, Henry, Shelby and
Bullitt counties once it is fully open with
running and bicycling trails and a
canoe launch. The first phase has
opened near Middletown.
The vast majority of the space will be open, natural,
protected land, said Beck. This idea will be incorporated into
the comprehensive master plan drawn up by the Philadelphia firm Wallace
Roberts & Todd.
The job was too big for a local firm, said Beck. Wallace
Roberts & Todd have extensive experience in park planning. Officials
from the firm have called this the largest municipal park project in
Miles Park is among the greenspace areas that the project will incorporate.
The park is off of Shelbyville Road, across from Valhalla Golf Course
near Eastwood, and is the northern anchor in the project.
Floyds Fork Park in nearby Fisherville will become part of the
greenway as will the Tyler-Schooling land that lies across the creek
from the park. The Schooling family worked with the Trust for Public
Land to protect 150 acres along Floyds Fork to conserve it and
help protect the water quality.
To put it one step closer to its goal, 21st Century Parks recently acquired
458 acres off Brush Run Road known as the Irongate property.
It was the former site of the Seatonville Springs Country Club. This
was the largest single purchase of property since the initiative began,
costing 21st Century Parks just more than $5 million.
This is the only parcel for which 21st Century has a title. Metro Parks
and Future Fund funded previous land acquisitions. In fact, Future Fund
was created in the early 1990s with the purpose of preserving land along
It will likely be next summer before 21st Century Parks will begin improvements
at Miles Park, officials say. Before any steps can be taken, the project
has to go through a public planning process in which the public must
give its input on the project, said Beck.
The first of many public meetings was held on Feb. 22 at Eastern High
School in Middletown. Approximately 400 people attended this introductory
meeting, said Jason Cissell, Community Relation Director for Louisville
The planning process will determine how the land will be used,
Individuals from many local naturalist and organizational groups attended
the meeting, said Cissell. Athletic groups (including lacrosse and soccer),
mountain biking groups, hikers, equestrian clubs, and even the Louisville
Dog Run Association were present, said Lisa Hite, Senior Planner for
We would like to see a large-scale off-leash area, 10 acres or
greater, established, said Brian Davis of the Louisville Dog Run
Currently, the only off-leash area is located in E.P. Tom Sawyer State
Park, located near Westport Road. The association is working with Metro
Parks to establish areas in other parks.
We like the opportunity for having a very large, natural off-leash
area, he said. Such a natural area would be rarely cut, more like
a meadow or natural woods for individuals and their dogs to explore.
Davis counts so many recreational opportunities available in the greenways
future that, he said, I think the project as a whole is wonderful
and can certainly be a wonderful asset for the city of Louisville.
Beck said it would be a regional attraction as well.
Many area school officials see the project as a great educational opportunity.
Eastern High school is already working at Miles Park planting trees
and studying the ecology of the area, and school officials there say
they expect to expand their efforts.
Read more about Floyds Fork Greenway
Project at: www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroParks/cityofparks/floyds_fork.htm
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