Olmsted Parks Conservancy Announces Major Donation and Expansion of Cherokee Park | News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Olmsted Parks Conservancy is gearing up for a big expansion after purchasing 25 acres of parkland from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Prior to this week, there were a lot of concerns about the land near Cherokee Park and how it would be used.

“A developer intended to buy these 25 acres and build around 75 homes here,” said Layla George, president and CEO of Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

Instead of houses, the space will be turned into a park.

“It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t happen very often in a city, with the biggest giveaway in the history of the Olmsted Parks Conservancy,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

Norman and Belita Noltemeyer announced on Wednesday an $ 8 million donation to the Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

“As Mr. Rogers would say, it’s a great day in the neighborhood. It’s a spectacular day for the Noltemeyers to be able to do what we do,” said Norman Noltemeyer. “It’s a legacy for the Noltemeyers that should last forever, and I want to thank everyone for coming. It’s a special day for the Noltemeyers and everyone.”

“It has been a challenge for a while,” added Fischer. “So having a family with $ 8 million to say, ‘Let’s make sure that gets taken care of forever,’ it just doesn’t happen very often. ‘

George said part of the land is already being used as an extension of Cherokee Park.

“Cherokee Park is one of the oldest parks in our city. We are fortunate to still have this incredible park system today, ”she said. “So the idea of ​​75 houses being built on this property would have been a huge intrusion into Cherokee Park.”

And in the end, George and Fischer agree it’s a victory for the conservatory, the city, and the seminary.

“This, for Louisville Seminary, is a moment of promise,” said Dr. Alton Pollar, president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. “That’s why we wanted to sell part of the property, so that we can minister in a way that’s new not just in Louisville but in the region and beyond. We’re going to be able to better prepare women and men for this. the kind of innovative, forward-thinking and creative ministries that are needed in this time of injustice in a suffering world. “

George said one of the first steps would be to demolish the old dormitories and seek public input on a master plan for the land.

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