California neighborhood breaks ground on Alberta Jones Park
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Parks Alliance of Louisville joined residents and community leaders of the California neighborhood to break ground on the first phase of Alberta Jones Park.
The new park is located along Maple Street between Dr. W.J. Hodge and 25th Streets, an area severely impacted by historic flooding in 2009.
To improve public health and safety, MSD secured a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant, enabling homeowners in high-risk areas who chose to participate to sell their property at pre-flood value and relocate.
Over the last decade, the land was permanently conserved as greenspace.
Now, through the leadership of the Parks Alliance and a community-driven planning process, the site will become Louisville’s newest public park, according to a release.
The first phase of park construction includes a lawn for events, walking paths, fitness stations, a picnic shelter, performance pavilion, outdoor classroom and playground.
The playground will celebrate music-making with giant musical notes, a climbing tower that looks like an unfolding sheet of music, music-making devices, as well as swings, slides and connecting bridges, according to the release.
“We will host more community events this summer once the lawn is established to guide the development of the rest of the park,” CEO of the Parks Alliance of Louisville Brooke Pardue said. “As with the first phase, the people of this neighborhood will drive the decisions about what they want to see in their new public greenspace.”
Officials with the project said construction of the lawn is slated for completion this summer.
“Parks are a vital part of what makes Louisville’s neighborhoods vibrant and healthy,” Mayor Craig Greenberg said. “My administration has made it a top priority to ensure every resident has equitable access to high-quality greenspace and Alberta Jones Park is a significant step in the right direction. I congratulate the people of the California Neighborhood, the Parks Alliance, and the many generous donors to the Alliance for their commitment to make this vision a reality.”
Alberta Jones was the community’s choice for the park name, according to the release.
Jones was a civil rights activist. She participated in the March on Washington, was a member of the NAACP and worked with the Louisville Urban League. She also formed the Independent Voters Association of Louisville, renting voting machines to teach Black Louisvillians how to vote.
In August 1965, Jones’ body was found in the Ohio River. Her murder remains unsolved.
For Flora Shanklin, naming the new park in honor of her big sister Alberta Jones brings a measure of healing and tremendous joy.
“Words cannot describe how happy and grateful I am,” Shanklin said. “This is the greatest recognition she has ever received, and it will be permanent and everlasting.”
For more information on the Alberta Jones Park, including videos and renderings of the first phase of the project, click or tap here.
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