By Aaron Henry
Have you ever wondered while visiting one of your local park, “Where did this park get its name?” A special part of our parks is many of them have been named after prominent members within their community. These are just a few parks that honor the memory of individuals committed to making our city great.
(David and Betty Jones)
In 2004 the 80-acre park was established along River Road by the founder of Humana Inc.; David Jones.
Jones stated, “we feel that this park, with all that it offers the community – and all the children and families and sports teams that will enjoy it – is the best possible use for this land.”
The park’s name is actually in honor of the mothers of both David Jones and Betty Jones; Elsie Thurman Jones and Lillias Hutchins Ashbury.
“Its central location, easy accessibility and wide range of uses makes Thurman Hutchins Park a treasure for us all. David Jones and his family provided Jefferson County a remarkable and lasting gift that will be enjoyed for generations,” stated by the Judge/Executive Jackson.
“We are truly indebted to the Jones family for such a wonderful contribution to this community’s parks,” said Brigid Sullivan, the Metro Parks director at the time. “Without the commitment of the Joneses, we could not have landscaped and equipped the park to the extent that we have.”
(Albert B. Sawyer Jr.)
Albert B. Sawyer Jr. was was dedicated in helping underprivileged children at the former Ormsby Village children’s home off of Whipps Mill Road.
After his retirement, he continued his work in supporting the youth in Louisville. In 1942 he was responsible for establishing the first Boys Club within the Portland neighborhood.
Sawyer continued his efforts after retirement by working behind the scenes with Jefferson County Public Schools to establish an award-winning program to combat drug abuse.
He was also a former director of the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, The Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America, Kentucky Farm Bureau, Purebred Livestock Association, and the Kentucky Board of Trade.
In 1985, Sawyer celebrated his 97th Birthday with 350 of his “foster children” gathered from across the country to celebrate and honor the 40 years of service he provided to so many children at Ormsby Village.
The number of baseball fields and playground area at A. B. Sawyer Park shows the enduring ideals of caring for children in a safe environment, that Sawyer believed in.
On the corner of Wenzel and Franklin streets, a small park went unnamed for a numbers of years. It wasn’t until 1981 that it was named after Virginia Anne “Ginny” Reichard, who was a neighborhood activist in Butchertown.
She originally grew up in Oldham and Eastern Jefferson County but moved to Butchertown in the late 1960s. Around the same time, she began working for the hearing and speech center at Kentucky Easter Seal Society.
Barbara Banaszynski, a fellow activist described Reichard’s character.
“It seemed like she was always concerned with others. Always working for others.”
Reichard was also involved with a number of neighborhood projects such as Oktoberfest. She even helped purchase the Butchertown house that Thomas Edison once lived in.
“It seemed to me that whenever something needed to be done in Butchertown, Ginny was always on the spot,” Sam Dorsey, the neighborhood Representative at the city’s Neighborhood Development Office explained.
These parks serve as a commemoration to the devoted efforts of these individuals, and will be remembered for years to come. David Jones once said, “Parks can last forever, and this is something we wanted to do for the enjoyment of everyone in Louisville and Jefferson County.”