Congressman Yarmuth helps unveil new bicycle pump track at Shawnee Park
Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton and others were on hand Saturday as Louisville Parks and Recreation unveiled a new bicycle pump track in Shawnee Park as part of the West Louisville Appreciation Day festival.
“This pump track is another exciting way for young people in West Louisville and throughout our city to experience the outdoors and have fun in one of the many award-winning parks right here in our community. It was an honor to join Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton and so many West Louisville residents as we cut the ribbon on this great new addition to Shawnee Park,” Congressman Yarmuth said.
The new pump track was funded with assistance from the Aetna Foundation and built by 12 youths working over the summer who participated in Mayor Greg Fischer’s Summerworks Program and the Louisville ECHO (Louisville is Engaging Children Outdoors) program.
The project has benefitted by support from the National Park Service who provided planning assistance and U.S. Forest Service who has providing funding support for Louisville ECHO.
It’s a feature of the West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative (WLORI), which began nearly a decade ago, and, under which, plans for a new Outdoor Learning Center in Shawnee Park were released last week. Those plans can be viewed on Louisville Parks and Recreation’s website, bestparksever.com.
A pump track is a type of off-road terrain for cycle sport consisting of a circuit of banked turns and features designed to be ridden completely by riders "pumping" - creating momentum by up and down body movements.
The plans were also displayed at an information booth set up by staff from Jefferson Memorial Forest and Louisville Parks and Recreation’s Natural Areas Division on Saturday.
Other components of WLORI include a new boat ramp in Shawnee Park (construction will take place in 2019) and the proposed restoration of the pond in nearby Chickasaw Park for better fishing access.
“Where a person lives has a profound impact on how they live – particularly when it comes to their health,” said Jonathan Copley CEO of Aetna Better Health of Kentucky. “The West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative is an outstanding example of how important progress can be made when communities work together to look at the biggest issues facing their neighborhoods and develop healthy, home-grown solutions. We are pleased to be a contributor to today’s unveiling.”
About Louisville ECHO:
Louisville ECHO is a grant-funded initiative to increase equitable opportunities for children, predominantly youth of color and youth from low-income backgrounds, to experience the outdoors. It consists of multiple complementary components intended to create “cradle to career” (i.e., continual) opportunities for youth to experience nature. Current components include school-based field trips for elementary-age students, out-of-school time (OST) programming for youth age 3 to 16, and resume-building summer job opportunities for young adults age 16 to 21; and engaging community events such as the annual “Canoemobile.”
Based at Jefferson Memorial Forest, headquarters of Louisville Parks and Recreation’s Natural Areas Division, Louisville ECHO is the programmatic component of the Department’s West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative (WLORI). WLORI seeks to create nearby-nature opportunities for west Louisville youth to experience nature and includes an infrastructure component to create enhanced amenities to facilitate growth of Louisville ECHO programming in west Louisville. This includes the creation of an outdoor learning center in Shawnee Park, the Shawnee Outdoor Learning Center.
About Louisville Parks and Recreation:
Louisville Parks and Recreation, a nationally-accredited parks and recreation agency, manages 120 parks and six parkways on more than 13,000 acres of land, and operates recreation programs for all ages. Its mission is to create a City of Parks where people can play, learn, grow and be healthy. The mission is accomplished by taking care of all parks properties and creating new ones, by providing safe and diverse recreational programs, and by protecting our public lands and resources for future generations. bestparksever.com