The Health Benefits of The Parklands of Floyds Fork

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

Recently I attended a photography unveiling of the Parkland of Floyds Fork. Three of Louisville’s talented photographers, John Nation, Bob Hower, and Ted Wathen, were displaying their photography depicting the project from beginning to present. There were also architect renderings of what is to come as the Parklands continues to be developed.

Dan and David Jones, Sr and Their Vision

I first met Dan Jones when he was unveiling the 21st Century Parks vision. 21st Century Parks is a private-non-profit organization that was dedicated to extending Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision in and around Louisville Metro. It was Fredrick Olmsted who designed our initial park system connecting the parks by a series of parkways: Eastern Parkway, Southern Parkway, and Western Parkway.

Dan wrote  a number of columns about the 21st Century Parks vision for my print magazine, Kentuckiana HealthFitness, and he was a also a guest on my radio show discussing the project. I was so impressed with the greatness of this project and the potential health benefits for Louisville, I want to share the vision with my readers!

Dan, a PhD in history, decided to go back to school and get a masters in Forestry from Yale University so he could effectively oversea this ambitious public park project. He packed up his wife and 4 kids and headed off to New Haven, CT. Dan’s father, David Jones, founder of Humana, has been the driving force behind this project helping to raise private funds to get this project off the ground.

I had first met David Jones, Sr when I was the chief dietitian at Humana’s Suburban Hospital in 1974.  Dan introduced me to his dad again when he and Dan were presenting at the Best of Louisville Awards years ago. David said he was a big fan of mine (my magazines) which really took me by surprise considering all that he had done for my hometown through his development of Humana.

The Parklands of Floyds Fork

The Parklands of Floyds Fork (PFF) is one of the largest and most ambitious public park projects in the nation. By 2015, four major new parks, Beckley Creek Park, Pope Lick Park, Turkey Run Park and Broad Run Park, linked by a park drive, urban trail system and the Floyds Fork stream. PFF will be nearly 10 times the size of Cherokee Park and 5 times the size of the famous Central Park in New York. PPT boasts 100 miles of new trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding and 22 miles of a canoe trail along Floyds Fork Creek. PTT will feature children’s playgrounds, walking paths, dog parks, ball fields and facilities for family picnics and community events.

The Health Benefits of The Parklands of Floyds Fork

Healthy lifestyles are an important aspect of overall health. With the 4 new parks, Louisvillians will have an opportunity to enjoy as assortment of active endeavors from walking, running, hiking, cycling, roller blading, canoeing, and kayaking. Each park will have an assortment of playgrounds, spraygrounds, soccer fields, barklands, and equestrian trails. Families can use the parklands to help maintain their health. The playgrounds can help our children to develop their muscles by climbing, hanging, jumping and running around.

The Parks will be Similar but Will have Different Focuses

Beckley Creek Park will have the Gheens Foundation Lodge and the PNC Achievement Center for Education and Interpretation opening in spring 2013.The creekside playground and sprayground with picnic pavilions are already open. A barkland, recreational walking loop, canoe launch and trails are still being developed.

These fun structures can help children build muscle mass.

On a normal spring morning these picnic tables are full of moms, dads and kids playing.

These are water sprays during the summer. I have taken my grandkids over when they are in town for fun and a picnic – but get their early if you want a table or space out of the sun!

Building underway for the educational structures at Beckley Creek Park.

Miles Park, off of Shelbyville Road, is already open which includes trails, fishing, community gardens and a canoe launch.

Canoe launch at Miles Park. Currently it’s not being used because of all the upstream construction.

The construction continues between Beckley Creek Park and Miles Park.

On the other side of the underpass walking toward Beckley Station Park from Miles Park. Canoes & kayaks will be paddling down Floyd Fork.

Trees are being planted on the backside of Beckley Creek Park.

The Pope Lick Park will have soccer fields, a Retreat House which will be used for meetings or less than 25 people, Trestle point and canoe launches.

The Turkey Run Park will have adventure programming, the Silo Adventure Center, a renovated Event Barn, the Caternay Bridge and Scenic Overlook, a playground and event lawn, picnic pavilions, the Historic Stout House, and canoe launches and landings.

The Broad Run Park will be the heart of the Waterfall district.  Trails will be leading to waterfalls, springs and wetlands. There will be a Cliffside playground and a recreational loop, a bark park, picnic pavilions, and a long meadow for family picnics and family pickup games.

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition,, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 12 grandchildren.    



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *