Mayor Greg Fischer, Councilwomen Vicki Welch and Cindi Fowler and other local officials joined staff from Louisville Parks and Recreation and Wilderness Louisville on Saturday, October 21 to unveil the newest addition to Jefferson Memorial Forest and the Louisville Parks and Recreation’s Natural Areas Division’s “Louisville is Engaging Children in Outdoors” (“ECHO”) Program.
The “ECHO Mobile” will take the ECHO Program on the road, allowing programming once held solely at Jefferson Memorial Forest to be available in neighborhoods throughout Louisville.
“In the past, we’ve been fortunate to be able to bring kids from nature poor areas in Louisville to the Forest for ECHO programming,” said Mayor Fischer. “Now, the program has come full circle. We can bring them to the Forest, and we can also bring the Forest to them. The ECHO Mobile is a great addition.”
Louisville ECHO provides youth education and out-of-school-time activities at Jefferson Memorial Forest and other community spaces.
Funded through a $30,000 Meet Me at the Park grant from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Walt Disney Company, the “ECHO Mobile” is a mobile outdoor recreation and nature play unit to bring a bit of the outdoors to relatively nature-poor urban parks.
The ECHO Mobile will bring activities such as biking, archery and fishing, and a variety of natural materials and nature play opportunities to youth throughout the community.
“We’re excited to be unveiling the “ECHO Mobile” at the Wilderness Louisville Forest Adventure, but we’re also ready to hit the road and take it into the community starting in earnest next spring,” said Bennett Knox, Park Administrator. “It’s one more ECHO component that we can use to improve equitable access to nature for Louisville youth and families.”