Jefferson Memorial Forest to Receive $2.5M in State Investment

May 14, 2024

Senator Nemes and Representative Calloway to Discuss Efforts to Enhance Nation’s Largest Urban Forest



May 13, 2024

Louisville, KY – State legislative leaders Senator Mike Nemes (District 38) and Representative Emily Calloway (District 37) will be joined by their legislative colleagues, Mayor Craig Greenberg and Metro Councilman Dan Seum, Jr. District (District 13) as well as leaders from Louisville Metro Parks and Jefferson Memorial Forest as they celebrate the $2.5 million in state funding that was awarded as part of the 2024 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.

“It is my honor to be a part of securing funding for Jefferson Memorial Forest in the state budget.  The forest is a treasure in our community that enhances the quality of life for residents.  I look forward to seeing the projects take shape and the amenities it will provide to both our residents and visitors.”  Senator Mike Nemes, District 38

Jefferson Memorial Forest started in 1945 and has grown to more than 6,900 acres spanning more than 10 miles in South Jefferson County. The forest, which has recently added funding for land acquisitions as well as enhancements such as Tom Wallace Recreation Area is guided by a strategic plan that outlines a vision for making the forest one of the premier recreation sites in the region.

“The 6,900-acre woodland area that comprises Jefferson Memorial Forest sits just barely more than 15 minutes from downtown Louisville, but provides a beautiful park for our community to hike, fish, and enjoy.  This entire area is dedicated to local veterans, the men and women who have served our state and nation.  I treasure this gem within my district and appreciate the support our colleagues in the legislature showed in making this funding a reality.” – Representative Emily Calloway, District 37

The $2.5M allocated as part of 2024 legislative session and budget process will build on investments made during the previous Metro Budget process in which $1.75M in funding was allocated towards land acquisition and improvements.

“Jefferson Memorial Forest is the largest urban forest in the country, and we want to make it the best urban forest in the country too,” said Mayor Greenberg. “That is why I am so grateful to the General Assembly for providing $2.5 million to fund improvements at JMF. I supported this investment and have included major new investments for JMF in my long-term capital plan. From nature preservation and outdoor recreation to environmental educational and economic development, JMF is a true gem for our city, and we will make it shine.” – Mayor Craig Greenberg

Jefferson Memorial Forest is led by Jessica Kane, Parks & Recreation Administrator, and supported by the non-profit Wilderness Louisville. Wilderness Louisville has long advocated for public as well as private fundraising in support of the forest. Planning, development and expansion of Jefferson Memorial is overseen by Louisville Metro Parks under the leadership of the Mayor Greenberg’s Office.

“We have construction underway within the forest. If you head over to Tom Wallace Recreation Area, you will see improvements that include an accessible path, a kayak launch, fishing amenities, and a new picnic/playground area which was funded last year. In the coming year, we are looking to begin the process of reviewing the forest’s master plan in an effort to plan for even more consequential investments are made soon.” – Councilman Dan Seum, District 13

Press Event Details

What: Celebration of $2.5M in investment in Jefferson Memorial Forest

Who: State Legislative and Louisville Metro Leaders

Where: Horine Conference Center, Jefferson Memorial Forest (12408 Holsclaw Hill Road)

When: Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at 10:30 a.m.

Additional Details: The event will be held within the Horine Conference Center which offers a scenic view of the forest. Additional photographic and video opportunities are available at Tom Wallace Recreation Area where construction is underway to build an accessible path, a kayak launch, and fishing amenities. For more information on this event, please contact Stephen Haag at 574-1204 or via email at [email protected]

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