Louisville, Ky. (NEWS RELEASE) —Last week, 21st Century Parks, Inc. achieved a new milestone—one million people have visited The Parklands of Floyds Fork since opening its first amenity in June of 2011. The Parklands, a nearly 4,000-acre donor-supported public park system under development within the Floyds Fork watershed in eastern and southeastern Louisville, has been opening in phases since 2011 and is planned for completion sometime in 2015.
"We are absolutely delighted and a bit surprised at the quick, public acceptance of these newly created community assets. Our goal is a well-used and well-loved, donor-supported public park system and we are beginning to see that vision come to life,” said Jim Moore, Chief Operating Officer.
Visitor numbers are tracked through the use of car counters, estimating 2.5 people per car, which is in line with industry standards. The month of September, which featured the opening of 677 new acres and over 20 small-scale events, was the highest visitation month yet—estimated at over 133,000 people. The Parklands hopes to boast one million visitors a year once all four parks are fully open to the public in 2015.
“Our talented team will be in the park every single day, keeping it safe, clean, fun and beautiful for the many millions of future visitors who will come out and play in The Parklands of Floyds Fork," added Moore.
Twenty-first Century Parks staff had set a goal of 375,000 visitors for the year 2013. But with numbers by the end of September surpassing 611,500, the reality is likely to be more than double that goal.
“We’re overwhelmed by the positive response we’ve had and are excited to continue to open new amenities, bring new events to the parks, and introduce more of the community to The Parklands,” Remarked Scott Martin, Parks Director, “We’re busy studying how the park is being used and reacting to visitor feedback. The parks will only get better year to year.”
The Parklands, in its entirety, is a $120 million construction project fully funded by a public-private partnership of private donors, federal, state and city governments. The first phase of The Parklands – the popular Marshall Playground and Sprayground – opened in 2011 at Beckley Creek Park. The second phase stretched from Shelbyville Road to Wibble Hill Road, and included two signature road bridges, the PNC Achievement Center for Education and Interpretation and the Gheens Foundation Lodge, all now open.
The third phase, which just opened to the public September 6, is the last major opening planned until the southern parks begin to open in 2015. The park system is now about 40% open to the public. Construction began in July of 2013 on the fourth and final phase of Parklands’ construction, including Turkey Run and Broad Run Parks.
21st Century Parks has begun annual fundraising through a newly launched membership program. Individual and Household Memberships are available at TheParklands.org/member, and help 21st Century Parks to offer dynamic park programming and fund the annual operations of The Parklands of Floyds Fork, estimated to be about $4 million once the park system is complete.
How to Get There
Directions to Beckley Creek Park from Downtown Louisville:
• Take I-64 East to exit 19B to merge onto I-265N/Gene Snyder Fwy
• Take exit 27 for US-60/Shelbyville Rd toward Middletown/Eastwood
• Turn right off the exit onto US-60 E/Shelbyville Rd
• Drive approximately 1.5 miles and enter the park on the right across from Valhalla Golf Course (by turning onto Beckley Creek Parkway)
Directions to Pope Lick Park from Downtown Louisville:
• Take I-64 East to exit 19A to merge onto I-265S/Gene Snyder Fwy
• Take exit 23 for KY-155/Taylorsville Rd.
• Turn left onto Taylorsville Rd/KY-155-E
• Turn right onto S. Pope Lick Rd (right before the Circle K gas station)
• Follow S. Pope Lick Rd to the trailhead parking area or over a small bridge to the John Floyd Fields parking lot.
About The Parklands of Floyds Fork
The Parklands of Floyds Fork is a nearly 4,000-acre donor-supported public park system under development within the Floyds Fork watershed in eastern and southeastern Louisville. One of the largest and most ambitious metropolitan park projects in the nation, The Parklands is a dream realized by 21st Century Parks, a nonprofit organization established to create and preserve new unexcelled parks that serve as city-shaping infrastructure. 21st Century Parks is responsible for fundraising, land acquisition, construction, and long-term operations of the new park system. Community members may contribute to the annual fund by becoming a Parklands Member. Learn more at http://TheParklands.org/member.