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The story of Louisville's largest parks project, the nearly 4,000-acre Olmsted-inspired Parklands of Floyds Fork, comes to life on the pages of a new large-format book, A Landscape and Its Legacy: The Parklands of Floyds Fork. Edited by writer Dianne Aprile and designed by artist Julius Friedman, this 195-page, fully illustrated hardcover volume covers the rich history of the landscape, the colorful characters it produced and the innovative process that led to the creation of the Parklands by 21st Century Parks, the Louisville nonprofit responsible for its development.
Illustrated with full-color images by local photographers Ted Wathen, John Nation and Bob Hower, the text features engaging essays by Aprile and dozens of lively portraits of Floyds Fork wildlife, plant life and landowners by naturalist Michael Gaige and former Courier-Journal columnist Bob Hill.
The book tells the story of Floyds Fork in three parts. The first section, Vistas, is an introduction to the landscape, the natural history and the unique flora and fauna that make the Floyds Fork valley unique. From the Paleozoic fossils of the creek bed to the distinctive bark of the Eastern Sycamore, Michael Gaige provides the reader a taste of the depth and breadth of the natural resources found along Floyds Fork, and provides an introduction to the philosophy of interpretation that is known as "reading the landscape."
The second section, Voices, is a collection of Bob Hill's stories about the people who have inhabited its valley, from the adventures of pioneer and namesake John Floyd to the contemporary stories of people from whom land was purchased. "Although the Parklands of Floyds Fork will provide an even greater future for Louisville, another part of its mission is to honor the river's past, and its namesake, John Floyd," said Hill. "Over the last four years I have been documenting that 240-year history while compiling the stories, oral histories and old photographs of families that grew up along Floyds Fork — some going back seven generations."
And finally, the third section, Vision, is the story of how The Parklands of Floyds Fork was created, from an ambitious dream to a world-class reality, by a remarkable combination of public-private partnership and dedicated civic leadership. "This is the vision that will keep Louisville the City of Parks for the next century," said Chairman and CEO of 21st Century Parks, Dan Jones. "A project of this size could not be achieved without the help of many people, and perhaps its most striking characteristic is the strength of the partnerships that created it."