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Iroquois Park history on display with free walking tours

There are three different tours and each one highlights a unique part of the park.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It is one of Louisville's most iconic spots, and now you can get an even more personal perspective. Olmsted Parks Conservancy is hosting free walking tours of Iroquois Park all month long.

They are 90 minutes long and happen every Wednesday and Saturday morning from 9:30 to 11:00. Denise Davis leads them. She's actually a certified tour guide and used to give tours in Central Park in New York. It was then she said she truly became “Olmsted obsessed.”

"I absolutely fell in love with the man and his work,” Davis said. "He was convinced from his earliest days that each and every human person needed access to green space."

There are three different tours and each one highlights a unique part of the park.

"We go into all sorts of things, depending on where we are in any given park,” Davis said.

Last week, the walk explored Frederick Olmsted's vision and design for Iroquois Park as well as its origins.

"Mayor Jacob, in 1887, purchased this land, and everybody called it a folly because why would you come all of the way out here to go to a park on top of a hill. It didn't make sense,” Davis said.

This week, the tour is looking into the park's history with segregation and then its shift towards access for all. Next week will focus on the Northern Overlook and its influence on the city.

"It is one of the best representations of Olmsted design that you can find,” Davis said.

Davis hopes these tours inspire people and shine a new light on the parks.

"We can't overlook the role history has played in our parks," Davis said. "Through these tours, what I really would love to do is to help people understand our park history, to maybe get a little excited about what's here so that they'd think about volunteering or supporting the conservancy in some way. It's another example of how a park can bring people together and bind us in surprising and delightful ways."

Each tour is about a mile to a mile and a half in length. Davis said some of them can be hilly, but they can always make accommodations for you. You can always show up the day of the tour, but signing up in advance is encouraged and appreciated.

Davis also developed tours for Cherokee Park and Shelby Park. The dates are still being finalized, but there will be another series in Cherokee Park starting next month.

Click here for more info. 

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