Louisville Parks and Recreation Announces Replacement Park in Russell Neighborhood

March 01, 2023

Mayor Craig Greenberg today joined officials from Louisville Parks and Recreation, Louisville Metro Housing Authority, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Louisville and the Cincinnati Bengals/National Football League Foundation to unveil plans for a replacement park in the historic Russell neighborhood.

The 5.74-acre public park will be nestled in the Russell neighborhood on the corner of S. 13th Street and W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard – directly across from the newly redeveloped Beecher Terrace community, a 620-unit mixed-income rental community that is anticipated to be complete in September 2025.

The park will replace the 3.59-acre Old Walnut Street Park formerly located at 9th Street and W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard. A portion of the former park was used for the first phase of housing redevelopment at Beecher Terrace (the 450 Roy Wilkins Building) for 117 apartments built exclusively for persons age 55+.

Old Walnut Street Park, known as Beecher Park prior to the renaming in 1987, was established in 1940, and included two tennis courts, a basketball court, a multi-purpose playing field and a swing set prior to its closure in 2018.

Funding for the first phase of the park’s development is made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act, in addition to a $250,000 grant from the Cincinnati Bengals/National Football League Foundation - Grassroots Program and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Louisville. A 160’ x 360’ synthetic turf multi-sports playing field will be built during the first phase.

The park is a key component of the Choice Neighborhoods revitalization efforts currently underway in the Russell neighborhood, a collaborative effort to create and implement a dynamic and transformative plan for the Russell neighborhood. The park project is a partnership between Louisville Parks and Recreation and Louisville Metro Housing Authority.

"Using the game of football to make a positive impact on our community is a top priority for the Bengals," said Bengals Director of Community Engagement, Alex Simons. "The artificial turf field in this park is going to create a positive impact for Louisville youth in the Russell neighborhood for years to come.”

The playing field is anticipated to be the home of the 10th Street Cardinals and other Louisville youth football league teams, along with several other sports teams.

“At LISC, we strive daily to create great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Through our partnership with the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program and the Cincinnati Bengals, LISC Louisville is delighted to be a part of this wonderful project in the Russell neighborhood,” said LISC Louisville Executive Director, Scott Love. “LISC, through its local offices and rural program, have helped build or renovate over 406 recreation facilities across the country. Since entering the market, LISC Louisville is proud to have invested $24M into our community. This investment is working to lift the BIPOC business ecosystem, provide capacity building to our valued BIPOC nonprofit community, and help to address affordable housing issues. It is the hope of LISC Louisville that this field provide Russell residents with great memories for generations to come,” he continued.

Other features within the first phase of the park’s development include a pavilion, plaza, splash park, playground, pickleball courts, a basketball court, walking path with exercise stations and shade covered viewing areas. A tennis court and mixed-use building are planned in future phases. Construction is anticipated to begin this summer and come to completion in the spring of 2024.

"Louisville is extremely grateful for the generosity of the Cincinnati Bengals in providing a state-of-the-art turf field," said Mayor Craig Greenberg. "We're looking forward to welcoming the entire community to the vibrant Russell neighborhood and building on my administration's goal of becoming a stronger and healthier city," he added.

Additionally, the name of the replacement park at S. 13th Street and W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard will be decided by the community through a naming contest. Rules and information can be found at visionrussell.org by clicking on the “HELP NAME THE PARK” banner on the homepage.

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