Community hopes Victory Park will not revert back to violent reputation

Victory Park efforts

LOUISVILLE (WHAS) -- It was a crime scene a block wide.  Three people were shot at Victory Park Thursday afternoon leaving one man dead and two others in critical condition.

“It's kind of like Deja Vu all over again,” said Ty Anderson, who remembers the park’s rough reputation years ago. 

In 2015, he started bringing his youth football team there to practice and it seemed to be a rebirth for Victory Park. 

“We thought the park was headed in the right direction, with the revitalization going on.”

The St. Stephen Bulldogs were able to build a new field this year, but Anderson told WHAS 11 News that he's still frustrated to see the old stomping grounds under fire.

“We still have kids from this area, too, so some of the kids that are with us at our new practice area could've easily been out here or on the swings and just running around, so it could've impacted us even though we are not at this site anymore.”

The team may have left, but the community is still striving to better Victory Park.

It's currently in the middle of a two-year revitalization project, with close to $1 million invested into the park.  It includes rebuilding the basketball court, creating a walking path, as well as plans to replace the splash pad and playground.

“It's wonderful to have a nice green space like this within the city, so our goal is to preserve these places and keep them up,” said Creighton Mershon, the Interim CEO of Olmstead Parks Conservancy, the organization behind this restoration project.

He told WHAS 11 news the deadly shooting will by no means stop the project.  

“It's an unfortunate thing and we're sorry that it happened, but it doesn't deter us from making this investment because in the long run it's going to good for this neighborhood and that's part of our mission.”

Despite a violent step backwards, the efforts continue to take back Victory Park, ignoring the old stigma and looking towards a bright future. 

The revitalization project at Victory Park should be completed by this time next year. 

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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