Old dump site closer to becoming botanical garden - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Old dump site closer to becoming botanical garden

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Dominic Gratto Dominic Gratto

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A Louisville group is about to be one step closer to turning an abandoned landfill into a botanical garden, although the process will take years.

The change is possible if Louisville's Metro Council at its Thursday meeting approves a possible sale of 23 acres at the corner of River Road and Frankfort Avenue to the conservancy group, Botanica.

Botanica already entered into a lease for the old Ohio Landfill site. While the lease comes at almost no cost, transforming the property over the next five to seven years - depending on the size of the project - could require millions of dollars.

"We know that it's going to take a significant amount of money," said Dominic Gratto, a Botanica board member. "We already have some money in the bank, and we're looking for additional contributions to start the master plan process."

The money will have to come from private donations because there likely won't be government contributions said Chris Poynter, a spokesman for Mayor Greg Fischer.

The site, which hasn't been used as a dump since the 1960s, sits across from the RiverPark Place development near Waterfront Park.

"Nobody knows it's over here," Gratto said. "We envision it as a place where people can come on their lunch break and read a book, walk around some of the gardens, take a break from the business of life."

Already completed tests indicate no major environmental concerns on the site, although Gratto said more testing would be needed before starting the project.

Gratto said no renderings of the proposal are available because Botanica wants to get community input for the project first.

For more information on the garden project, or to donate, visit the group's website: http://waterfrontgardens.org/.

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