Beargrass Creek Trail Conceptual Shared Use Path and Ecological Restoration Plan

APA Kentucky Chapter


Friday, September 29, 2017
9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. EDT

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Located on the shores of the Ohio River, water has not always been a friend to the community of Louisville.  In 1937, the “Great Flood” was as big an international event for the time as hurricane Katrina was to our time. Entire neighborhoods and livelihoods were wiped away by the influx of water, resulting in major changes to the city landscape. The Beargrass Creek watershed was forever altered by these changes, and the effect of the man-made alterations on the landscape has left us with a polluted stream today.


Now more than ever, we need to protect and maintain this community asset, Beargrass Creek. This study is important in its examination of links between improved water quality and wildlife habitat, and improved transportation corridors which offer vital community connections. Investment into the health of Beargrass Creek and the shared use path project would not only help the community gain an amazing recreational amenity but also spur economic development along the improved transportation connections. Beargrass Creek can once again become a catalyst, similar to what the creek provided to early Louisvillians.


Participants will examine the possibility of utilizing a creek as a driving force to make a connection between two existing trail systems (Beargrass Creek Greenway and Butchertown Greenway) and explore conceptual ideas to improve the creek’s water quality, create habitat for increased wildlife and mitigate current bank erosion. In the broader picture, this shared use path would ultimately connect the Ohio River, and even points north in Indiana by way of the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge and the Louisville Loop, to neighborhoods, parks and greenways as far into the city as Cherokee Park. In addition to the transportation connections for humans, the wildlife corridor would be re-established and appeal of the creek as an amenity would be restored.


Sarah Kopke-Jones

Sarah Kopke-Jones, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP is a registered landscape architect and certified LEED AP with over fifteen years of experience. She has been involved in a wide variety of project scales and types, both nationally and internationally. She enjoys creating spaces that are timeless yet sustainable and environmentally responsible ... Read More

Lisa Hite, AICP

Lisa Hite, AICP has been the Senior Planner at Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation since 2002. She oversees a wide variety of projects including planning, land acquisition, design and implementation of park master plans, trails and greenways such as the Louisville Loop which, when completed, will be a 100-mile shared ... Read More

Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor, PE is a licensed professional engineer with over 16 years of experience in environmental engineering and water resources. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville and holds a Master’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is the majority owner of GeoMorphics, a woman owned ... Read More

Josephine Smiley, AICP

Jodi Smiley, AICP, the president and majority owner of Environs Inc., has over twenty years of experience with a variety of project types and sizes. Her education and experience in planning and architecture allows her to communicate and coordinate more effectively with other disciplines and to understand the needs of ... Read More

Contact Info

Lindsay Walker,