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Preserving greenspace: Olmstead Parks Conservancy receives historic gift, plans first expansion

The park received an $8 million gift from the Noltemeyers which will go towards purchasing about 25 acres from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Olmstead Parks Conservancy is receiving the largest financial gift in the park’s history, according to a press release. This gift will go towards the park’s first-ever expansion, which will be called the Beargrass Preserve at Cherokee Park.

The release said Norman and Belita Noltemeyer gifted $8 billion to the park, which will be used to purchase about 25 acres from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

The Noltemeyer’s made the donation in order to preserve the “rolling open fields, the beautiful woodland trails along Beargrass Creek, and access to Cherokee Park for generations to come,” according to the Olmstead Parks press release. They currently live in the Alta Vista neighborhood, which is in close proximity to Cherokee Park.

“To whom much is given, much is required, and we feel blessed to be in a position to make this contribution to the community,” said Norman Noltemeyer. “Belita and I have raised our family here. This place is special to us and we are so grateful that we can help preserve the natural beauty of this property.”

Lisa Causarano, President of the Alta Vista Neighborhood Association, said she is grateful for the Noltemeyers “for this incredible gift.”

"We are thrilled to live in a community with neighbors like Norman and Belita Noltemeyer who share a passion for preserving parkland and greenspace in the city,” Causarano said.

According to the press release, the property is on the east, west and south sides of the seminary’s campus and bordered by Alta Vista and Beargrass roads. Seminary residential housing will be torn down to make way for extended walking trails and bike paths.

RELATED: Parks Police: Appears woman intentionally drove car into water above Niagara Falls

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