We are Thankful for Jim Clark

Bone Dry

Jim and Bone-Dry Team Restoring Iroquois Horse Arena

This Thanksgiving Holiday Metro Parks has a lot to be thankful for. In particular, we are really thankful for the impact volunteers have had in our Parks, Community Centers, and Historic Homes. Volunteers help us everyday to achieve our mission and help make our community a better place thanks to their generosity. In 2015 thousands of volunteers have decided to contribute there helping hand in our volunteer program and we can’t be more thankful this.


One special volunteer we would like to recognize this year is Jim Clark. Jim was recently recognized as a WLKY Bell Award Winner. Thanks to the leadership of Jim Clark, owner of Bone-Dry Waterproofing, a small request for advice on drainage issues turned into a generous gift for the community, restoring the public horse arena in beloved Iroquois Park.


Metro Parks initially approached Jim to get advice on how to grade the arena to improve the conditions of the surface. Once Metro Parks explained the issues we were having with the horse arena, Jim immediately understood what needed to be done. Without provocation, he generously offered to donate time and talent to the project.


Jim single handily remodeled the surface of the Iroquois Horse Arena, using Bone-Dry’s equipment and renting additional equipment when necessary, to complete the task. Jim worked for weeks installing the new surface, ensuring it was done correctly. Once complete, Jim and his Bone-Dry team prepared the site for a large volunteer group project with GE Appliance Park. On October 11, 2013, 10 volunteers from Bone-Dry and a group from GE painted the newly installed fence. In total Jim and his team spent many long days over a two month period on this project assessed at a value well in excess of $22,000 including  labor, equipment, and supplies.


Because of this project, South Louisville Community Center was able to start an equestrian program during its summer camps the following year which was an invaluable price and gave teens that had never ridden horses before the opportunity to do so.


Our organization isn’t the only one to have benefited from Mr. Clark’s generosity. He has provided similar assistance to Metro Police K-9 unit and Metro Police Mounted Patrol. In 2012, he donated over 360 team hours to Lampe Home featured on Extreme Home Makeover. In 2011, he was able to transform a vacant lot full of overgrown weeds, dead trees and trash into a beautiful “green space” directly behind the Kentucky Humane Society Main Campus to aide in pet adoptions.


Jim Clark and his team have a huge heart, and we can’t thank them enough for the work that they have done for Metro Parks. The Iroquois Arena project simply would not have been completed without Bone-Dry, and specifically Jim Clark’s assistance. Jim Clark is an excellent model of compassion and Metro Parks and the our citizens are proud of his work. We salute all your hard work this Thanksgiving Jim!

Solomon Khup A Behind The Scenes Player at Iroquois Amphitheater

Solomon Khupp

Solomon Khupp

From Metro Parks staff

On Nov. 13, the best and the brightest in the hospitality industry in Louisville will gather at the Marriott Hotel downtown for the Rose Awards, hosted by the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Solomon Khup, as a nominee in the “Behind The Scenes” category, is critical to the success of the events hosted at the Iroquois Amphitheater, which include concerts, free movie nights and other events, including the Louisville Jack O’Lantern Spectacular. Here’s what Michael Hallett, production manager at the Amphitheater, said about Khup’s value to the team at the Amphitheater in his nomination essay:

“Mr. Solomon Khup is in his 6th year at Metro Parks and Recreation. He takes care of the back of house functions here at the Iroquois Amphitheater. The size and scope of Solomon’s daily duties are vast. Solomon is involved in custodial, maintenance, janitorial and is usually the first point of contact with our clients when they arrive for set-up. Our clients are varied from Music celebrities to our immediate neighbors coming to watch a free Monday night movie. His serene nature and friendly disposition amazes everyone.

Mr. Khup takes total ownership for the condition of our facility. We strive for a level of quality and cleanliness not often found in outdoor music venues. We are open to the elements and all the park animals which have made for some wild days. I remember when we removed a large black snake from the seating area right before we opened. But more seriously, Solomon encounters all the unpleasant aspects of what large concert venue’s deal with when you have crowds of hundreds who are consuming alcohol. He has never hesitated to correct any cleaning issue that has occurred.

Solomon is at best an example of the human spirit. His personal journey alone is a success story most would be proud of.  Solomon is from Myanmar/Burma. He came here alone and made Louisville his new home. His citizenship is a source of pride to him.  He has overcome language and cultural barriers to become a successful employee. Still a young man, he wants to retire here expanding his role and responsibilities. The Amphitheater and the citizens of Louisville could not be better served.”

Artist’s Journey Leads From Kenya To Beechmont Community Center

Rebekah 2

Meet Rebekah Frost Flint – a Pottery Artisan at Beechmont Community Center in South Louisville.  Rebekah joined the staff of Beechmont Community Center in May, and began teaching pottery classes in September.

Rebekah was born in Nairobi, Kenya, to parents working in a Ugandan mission doing theological education and healthcare. Her first experience with clay was a Rift Valley Academy, an international boarding school in Kenya where she enrolled in three pottery classes.

Rebekah attended Union University in Jackson, TN, where she obtained a B.A. degree in Art (emphasis in ceramics).  She also received a minor in Education and completed her K-12 teacher licensure in 2010. Rebekah 1

After graduating, Rebekah taught several art & pottery classes at her high school in Kenya for two years (2010-2012) before moving to Louisville.

“I enjoy creating things and considering how the art I create might enrich the lives of others”, Rebekah said. “Although I love making art using a variety of media, pottery is a great way to interject art into anyone’s life; the finished products are useful additions to anyone’s kitchen or dining area.”

Rebekah has been making pottery at Beechmont for a year.  She currently teaches a class on Monday mornings and Thursday evenings. The class is $50 for an 8-week course.

“It is a gift to be able to engage in creating!  Teaching people how to work with clay is also very fulfilling in that I have the joy of facilitating others’ discovery and delight,” she said.

For more information, contact
Beechmont Community Center
205 Wellington Avenue
Louisville, Kentucky 40214
(502) 361-5484

Jefferson Memorial Forest’s Canoemobile Adventure Event

canoe2Last weekend, I had the pleasure of traveling down to the beautiful Riverview Park to capture some photos of Jefferson Memorial Forest’s Canoemobile Event, which offers free canoe rides for individuals and/or families. But before I could even get the camera out, I was once again enthralled by the beauty of this park. It’s a hidden oasis of 46+ acres running along the Ohio River in Southwest Jefferson County at the end of Greenwood Road. I must admit, Riverview Park is one of my favorite parks in the city. Why? This park is situated along the river bank, offering a quiet, picturesque view of the Ohio with a backdrop of lush landscape highlighted by crisp, green leaves with hints of blazing orange and red foliage amidst the rolling tree canopy.   It’s beautiful!

As I pulled out the camera, I rushed down to the water to capture a couple of families arriving back to the dock after their paddling experience; the grandparents and their grandchildren, along with a father of two boys, all smiling ear to ear! For the children, this was their first paddling experience. Moments later, another canoe arrived filled with young ladies participating in a YMCA mentoring program from Southern Indiana. While still a little nervous, two of the participants told me that they had a blast! All admitted this was their first time canoeing, but it wouldn’t be their last.

That’s exactly what organizers wanted to hear. The purpose of the Canoemobile program is to introduce youngsters and families to canoeing and other outdoor activities, all aimed at promoting environmental education and stewardship and physical activity in the outdoors. The program is also part of larger urban outdoor initiative with the United States National Park Service, which is focused on introducing urban residents to the beauty of the outdoors.   The canoe rides, in partnership with the Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures (UWCA), launched from Shawnee Park on Friday, October 3, and Saturday, October 4 from Riverview Park. Despite the rainy and cold weather, more than 350 participants took part in the activity.

What I enjoyed most about this event was the family-fun atmosphere.   It was interesting to watch many of the participants quietly (often a little reluctantly) meander down to the canoe in the beginning, yet confidently exiting the boat laughing and reminiscing about their journey up/down river at the conclusion.   Sometimes it was the child/teen holding the hand of the parent/grandparent who was obviously the one nervous, and at other times it was vice versa. While I personally was unable to overcome my fear of water and participate, I was impressed by the number of people who were. Some even acknowledging they now could mark this off their “bucket list”.

Thanks to the welcoming and energetic staff of Jefferson Memorial Forest and Wilderness Canoe Adventures. They helped to make the event GREAT! See some of my pictures below…



   canoe3 canoe4 canoe5 canoe6 canoe7 canoe8 canoe9

Winter Basketball League Registration Underway

Registration for Men’s 18 & Over Basketball League is open now through January 2, 2014.  First week of league play basketballbegins January 7. Games will be played on Tuesday evenings (6:30, 7:30, 8:30 & 9:30 pm) at Cyril Allgeier Community Center. Questions? Call the Athletics Office at (502) 456-8117.

Click here to register online.

Important Note:  Payment must be made in full at the time of registration in order to reserve your place for the season.  Register at the Athletics desk inside the Louisville Tennis Center located at 3783 Illinois Ave.  Louisville, KY 40213.

Metro Parks Holiday Gift Guide

Searching for that perfect holiday gift or stocking stuffer this season? Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation has something for everyone on your list!

For Wilderness Lovers

The Welcome Center at Jefferson Memorial Forest carries wildlife guides, nature-themed jewelry, sweatshirts and caps. Gift cards are available for purchase too!

For the Golfer in Your Life


Golf Discount Books are $25 and can save avid golfers hundreds of dollars over the next year

For the Artist

Gift certificates for art classes may be purchased in any amount, and used for a variety of lessons for adults and children. Painting, pottery, screenprinting, silversmithing, guitar and flute (and much more) are offered at our two arts centers.

For the Fitness Fanatic

A gift card to the Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center can be applied toward memberships, swimming lessons and more.

For the History Buff

Not only do historic homes Locust Grove and Riverside, the Farnsley-Moreman Landing have traditional holiday programs to attend, they also carry unique and sure-to-please gifts in their gift shops.

Why not make a donation in a loved one’s name? Any amount helps, and Metro Parks has several options to choose from: adopting mature trees or planting new ones, memorializing a park bench with a plaque, personalizing a brick at Riverside, the Farnsley-Moreman Landing, and naming seats at the Iroquois Amphitheater, which come with a certificate, plaque or engraving.

For more information on any of these items, visit metro-parks.org or call 502/456-8100.

Louisville’s Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular is “Spectacular”

jols ky 2The definition of “Spectacular” as defined by Merriam-Webster is:

adjective \spek-ˈta-kyə-lər, spək-\
Causing wonder and admiration : very impressive

So, it is not untrue to say that Louisville’s Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular (JOLS) event is, in fact, spectacular! We are receiving a lot of comments on how much visitors are enjoying the event and amazed by not only how many carved pumpkins there are, but the quality of artistry and the experience as a whole.  Here is what some of our online critics are saying:

jols ky“We were just all very impressed by the handicraft of the artists of Passion for Pumpkins, Inc. They have 25 years of experience designing these luminary art galleries along any landscape, and they did a magnificent job of it at Iroquois Park.” –Louisville.com

 “I mean, you just can’t imagine what it’s like to stroll through the dark woods surrounded by so many glowing, intricately carved pumpkins. “ –Louisvillefamilyfun.net

There are numerous photos and videos floating around the web taken by JOLS visitors (we love that by the way!), but nothing can quite capture the experience as actually being there. There are just a few weeks left to come out and enjoy a truly unique fall event!

Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular ends November 2nd.

Ticket Information: http://www.jackolanternlouisville.com/tickets
Discount:   Monday – Wednesday, tickets are $10 after 10 p.m. Learn more.