Save Otter Creek Park – The Friends of Otter Creek Park Blog

Friends of Otter Creek Park Meeting January 5th by stateofthecommonwealth
December 29, 2008, 3:59 pm
Filed under: Events, Louisville Metro Council, Media, Meetings, OCP News

UPDATE 1/5/09: The agenda for tonight’s meeting has been posted below: Still, there’s time for any additions or changes to be added, so please email me at if you have any by 4 PM. If you have any last minute changes at the meeting, please feel free to come up and make your concerns known. See you tonight!

The next meeting of the group provisionally entitled Friends of Otter Creek Park will be Monday, January 5th, 2009 at the Southwest Government Center, 7219 Dixie Hwy #106 in Southwest Louisville at 7 PM. This group is a citizen-led, grassroots effort to explore what possibilities exist for keeping Otter Creek Park open for recreational usage and free from commercial, industrial or residential development. Given that Louisville Metro government plans to close OCP on Thursday, January 1st, we are also committed to finding ways to reopen the park to the public as soon as possible.

As of this writing, this group has many members but no clear organization or official mission, so defining the group will be the main task of Monday’s meeting. The author of this blog, Joel Hunt, was elected Co-Chairperson of the group along with Patsy Bowman (organizer of the previous two rallies), and as such I wrote an initial email to our members, of which the elements which pertain to the next meeting I’ll share here:

… Our next meeting at the Southwest Government Center on Monday, January 5th, 2009 at 7:00 PM. The meeting will be open to the public and the local news media, as well as any other group with an interest in keeping Otter Creek Park open. Louisville Metro representatives and/or representatives from any other relevant government agency (counties, state, federal) will be invited as well. Information about the meeting will be publicized on as well as on the Facebook Save Otter Creek Park group.

As we all know, the Park will be closed by the city on January 1st, so the next steps that we as a group take will be important. With that in mind, being organized and presenting a clear, coherent message to the community at large about what Otter Creek Park means to us and our families is very important. So in turn I’d like to propose that we develop an agenda for the next meeting, with the emphasis first on organizing as a group by determining sub-committees to tackle individual goals (examples: Petitions and Volunteering; Public Relations and Media; Non-Profit and Charity Outreach, etc.), electing officers, and discussing whether this group should or should not be incorporated as some sort of legal entity. Additionally, I think we need to see what petition signatures we as a group can collect in the next two weeks, and consolidate that data into phonebanks and email lists. Lastly, we need to craft a mission statement for the group, as well develop a media strategy to inform the public. That said, these are what I think the priorities should be, but I am more than happy to keep the agenda open not only to members of this committee, but the general public as well. While saving Otter Creek Park is our goal, we should exercise as much transparency as possible to achieve it.

So send along your suggestions for the meeting’s agenda to this email,, and I’ll put forth a rough version to send to everyone in the next few days (as time allows — obviously the holidays are busy times for everyone, myself included!). If there’s anyone you think should be involved with this effort but isn’t included on this email, please let me know ASAP! Also, if there are concerned community members out there who don’t use email but want to be involved, please put them in contact with myself and the group. We need as many committed people as possible!

With that in mind, we’re sounding the call now. If you are interested in joining our cause, you are welcome to join us at the Southwest Government Center on Monday the 5th. If you would like to take an active role in helping us develop the agenda for the meeting — as well as what direction the group may take — please contact me at I’ll post the meeting’s agenda in the next few days as soon as a draft version is ready.

Additionally, please contact your Louisville Metro Councilmember and invite them to the meeting. You can do so by contacting them here:

Metro Council
601 W. Jefferson St.
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 574-1100
Address postal mail to individual Councilmember. – This site links to individual Councilmembers.


9 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I plan on attending your next meeting. As a photographer I would like to offer you my services. If you want someone to document the meeting or any other event with photos, then I would be glad to do so.

Comment by Mathew Ballard

One focus of the meeting should be to preserve the current arangment. The metro Parks dept. is the best entity to run Otter Creek Park. When the Mayor says ” private entity ” he means a for profit organization! In 1994, Abramson was presented with a detailed, comprehensive plan to improve both the facilities and revenue at Otter Creek. He handed this proposal to an aide and buried it. Numerous times since then ideas have been suggested and dismissed. Our Mayor has, does, and will not want Otter Creek Park! The current drive to rid us of our “problem” is NOT about money! The mayor wants this park to fail! This does not mean we will fail. If enough concerned citizens (voters) join the effort we can force his hand. Jerry, like any other politician, wants to be re-elected. See you on the 5th.

Comment by Tim Keith

Tim, I can’t speak for the group but I have to say I would prefer the current arrangement to continue. That is, for the City of Louisville to own and operate the park.

That said, it would be interesting to hear more about, perhaps even see, this proposal from 1994 that you mention. Do you have any idea of a way to obtain it?

Thanks for your comment.

Comment by stateofthecommonwealth

Really? You would rather see a city that doesn’t even want the park to continue to own and run it. I’m sorry, but I can’t believe that when Mayor Abramson has said that he doesn’t want Otter Creek.

Comment by Mathew Ballard

The City is not the problem. Just the Mayor! Sorry, but I don’t believe the 1994 proposal is available(14 years ago!).
Will there be an organized chance for public comment at the next meeting? If so, I would like to say a few words. Nothing negative. No Jerry bashing. Just a few words about the value of parks in general, and Otter Creek in particular.

Comment by Tim Keith

I would donate in an instant if it meant keeping it open for for students and homeschoolers.

I am not from KY and I have been hearing that Louisville has been trying to “get rid” of it anyways.. I never got to EXPLORE the park just see the moon one night back in October. I had plans on going back too!

Comment by Homeschooler mom of 3

Just got this from the observatory newsletter.

Comment by Homeschooler mom of 3

My daughter and son in law live in Radcliff. Every time we come “down” (from the Chicago area) to visit we make it a point to go to Otter Creek. As a retired teacher with a masters degree in Outdoor education, I say “If this park is NOT reopened it would be a terrible waste of a valuable educational resource, not only for home schoolers, but for the entire Louisville Metro area.” I suggest a joint venture between the Park District and The University of Louisville to be used as an outdoor education training center for elementary education majors. Otter Creek could also be used for hands on training for biology majors, astronomy majors, geology majors, etc. (you get the point!!) Cost to be shared by the Park District (or city) and the University. It is workable as evidenced by Northern illinois University (DeKalb) and Lowden State Park on the Rock River in Orgeon,IL. NIU had it’s outdoor education center in the park called Larado Taft Field Campus. Alas, in its infinite wisdom, Illinois too, is closing state parks to cut costs, Lowden being one of them.
So, as an out-of-stater, but a strong advocate of Otter Creek,what can I do to help?? How do I join your group? Where can I sign the pertition??

Comment by Pat Watson

I believe the best option for the continued operation of the park would be for Ky Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Resources to take it over and make it a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) like Yellowbanks WMA in Breck. Co. I spoke with the Meade Co. State Rep. Jeff Greer a few days ago and his argument against that was that hunting and fishing would be allowed and that the proximity of homes would cause a safety issue. When I pointed out that OCP was bordered on the South and East by Ft. Knox reservation (where hunting has been allowed for decades) and on the North by the Ohio river, and there was a considerable buffer between the park and residential homes, he waffled. Allowing fishing would not impact other recreational uses of the park and access to parks during hunting seasons are already being effectively managed in other areas like Taylorsville Lake State Park.
If you look at the KDFWR website for WMA’s:
and the KDFWR main website:
you’ll see that by adding OCP to come under KDFWR it would greatly expand the educational and recreational opportunities for everyone. Just look at the youth camps, outdoor classrooms and other educational and recreational opportunities available at other state run facilities. Fish and Wildlife programs are financed through the statewide sale of sporting equipment and licenses and not thru the general fund. This would allow the whole state to contribute to the care and up keep of OCP and make it independent of the political ups and downs of any single city or metro area politician.
Looking forward to to attending the next meeting on the 26th. I personally invited Meade Co. Rep. Jeff Greer and he said he’d do his best to be there.

Comment by Al Johnson

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