Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton and others were on hand Saturday as Louisville Parks and Recreation unveiled a new bicycle pump track in Shawnee Park as part of the West Louisville Appreciation Day festival.
“This pump track is another exciting way for young people in West Louisville and throughout our city to experience the outdoors and have fun in one of the many award-winning parks right here in our community. It was an honor to join Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton and so many West Louisville residents as we cut the ribbon on this great new addition to Shawnee Park,” Congressman Yarmuth said.
The new pump track was funded with assistance from the Aetna Foundation and built by 12 youths working over the summer who participated in Mayor Greg Fischer’s Summerworks Program and the Louisville ECHO (Louisville is Engaging Children Outdoors) program.
The project has benefitted by support from the National Park Service who provided planning assistance and U.S. Forest Service who has providing funding support for Louisville ECHO.
It’s a feature of the West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative (WLORI), which began nearly a decade ago, and, under which, plans for a new Outdoor Learning Center in Shawnee Park were released last week. Those plans can be viewed on Louisville Parks and Recreation’s website, bestparksever.com.
A pump track is a type of off-road terrain for cycle sport consisting of a circuit of banked turns and features designed to be ridden completely by riders “pumping” – creating momentum by up and down body movements.
The plans were also displayed at an information booth set up by staff from Jefferson Memorial Forest and Louisville Parks and Recreation’s Natural Areas Division on Saturday.
Other components of WLORI include a new boat ramp in Shawnee Park (construction will take place in 2019) and the proposed restoration of the pond in nearby Chickasaw Park for better fishing access.
“Where a person lives has a profound impact on how they live – particularly when it comes to their health,” said Jonathan Copley CEO of Aetna Better Health of Kentucky. “The West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative is an outstanding example of how important progress can be made when communities work together to look at the biggest issues facing their neighborhoods and develop healthy, home-grown solutions. We are pleased to be a contributor to today’s unveiling.”