Nearly 700 acres of Louisville parkland to open Friday - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Nearly 700 acres of Louisville parkland to open Friday

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Some of the Parklands at Floyds Fork as seen from Air 3. Some of the Parklands at Floyds Fork as seen from Air 3.
Map showing the areas opening this week (Source: Parklands of Floyds Fork) Map showing the areas opening this week (Source: Parklands of Floyds Fork)
Scott Martin Scott Martin
Monie Matthews Monie Matthews
Becky Matthews Becky Matthews

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Nearly 700 acres of parkland, an area about the size of New York's Central Park, will open to the public on Friday in Louisville.

The grand opening will complete about 40 percent of the Parklands of Floyd Fork project, just to the east of Interstate 265. The area between Shelbyville and Taylorsville roads will be available to the public first.

"It's a major park for Louisville," said Scott Martin, the parks director. "It's about the same size as Central Park in New York and bigger than Cherokee Park."

The nonprofit organization running the parks have raised more than $120 million in donations, and is on schedule to finish the remaining parks by 2015, Martin said.

About 20 miles of the Louisville Loop Trail will run through the Parklands project, and Friday's opening will allow bikers, walkers and joggers to use about 7 miles of the path. It will eventually connect to the rest of the trail.

People have already been using a smaller portion of the park, and Becky and Monie Matthews visited for the first time Tuesday.

"This (park) has really been developed the right way," Monie Matthews said. "A lot more people have access to it -- it's a great looking park."

"I really think it's going to add a lot, especially to this end of the county," Becky Matthews said.

Crews have already planted thousands of trees, and designers aimed to make the park user-friendly for decades to come, Martin said. He said planners projected Louisville's future growth in planning the location in eastern Jefferson County.

"We're trying to keep up with that model and design parks that 100 years from now, will look absolutely gorgeous," he said.

Organizers have planned events for Friday's grand opening and throughout the weekend. For more information, visit the park website: http://theparklands.org/..

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