Louisville KY is famous for the Kentucky Derby and bourbon, but the city has many exciting features to offer its residents, including large open spaces and parks. Plans are underway for the new Waterfront Botanical Gardens, to be located near the river just north downtown and East Main, in an area of town called The Point. The project is overseen by Botanica, a local gardening advocate group.
Plagued by several major floods, The Point has seen many changes over the years, from summer homes during the antebellum period, to a neighborhood for laborers in the 1850’s. After the last major flood in 1937, a large part of the area was converted to a dump to help with cleanup efforts caused by flood damage. The dump grew and grew, accommodating outer county residents and the expanding population, until the late 1960’s when I-71 was completed. The new freeway passed right by the dump, essentially making it the entrance to the city. The dump was closed and dirt and rock fill were added to seal the surface.
Additional details about the history of the site, plans for its future, and information about the organization Botanica, can be found on the website http://waterfrontgardens.org
Once completed, the Waterfront Botanical Gardens will join the ranks of Louisville’s other beautiful open spaces. Waterfront Park (pictured above) stretches along the bank of the Ohio River, and is the venue for numerous festivals, including Forecastle and the Kentucky Derby Festival, plus free summer concerts on Waterfront Wednesdays. Other large parks of note are Seneca, Cherokee, and Iroquois, all designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park in New York City. Each one is located within the city boundaries and boasts impressive municipal golf courses, ballfields, biking, picnicking, and a myriad of other recreational facilities. Not to mention the smaller neighborhood parks that offer the people of Louisville a chance to relax, exercise, and enjoy themselves.
Open green spaces are an important part of city life, and the care and planning of these spaces is just another reason why life in Louisville is so fulfilling!