Otter Creek Park Meeting/Rally a Success

Well, Sunday’s meeting in Otter Creek Park was at least a success in terms of both turnout and media coverage, but the park is still closing January 1st, with an uncertain future beyond that date. An estimated 475 signatures were signed for a statement drafted by Jason Flickner of Kentucky Waterways Alliance that urges Mayor Jerry Abramson to work as diligently as possible, especially with other interested local, state and federal government agencies or other groups, to keep the park open.

WHAS, Fox41, and WAVE all aired coverage of the rally. Here’s the story filed at

It may be the last campfire the Bryant family ever builds in Otter Creek Park.

For 30 years, Jimmy Bryant has been bringing his family to this park. It’s a tradition that’s about to end.

His daughter Brandi Cruse remembers all of the campfires she used to sit around here as a child and says she wants her three year old daughter Aya to have the same memories and experiences, but now she won’t.

It’s a thought that brings Brandi to tears.

Thousands of other people have built memories in Otter Creek Park as well — hiking on the miles of trails, biking through the woods, and seeing wildlife at almost every turn.

Bill Butler has been coming here every week since he was 13 years old.

He says the thought of not being able to come to this park anymore keeps him up at night.

He remembers, “When it happened, I couldn’t even sleep that night. It really hurt me bad, and it still hurts me to think I can never come back out here again to this park. It’s been part of my life for 65 years and now it’s gone.”

The city of Louisville has owned and operated the 2600 acre park since 1949. The problem is, it costs about [$500,000] a year to keep this park open, and right now the city of Louisville just doesn’t have that money.

So on Sunday, about 250 people got together in the park to hold a rally to try and convince the city of Louisville to keep Otter Creek open.

They made signs, handed out flyers and signed petitions.

The group hopes it will continue to come to the park for many years to come.

Right now, Otter Creek Park is scheduled to close on January 1st.

Of course, that news story doesn’t tell the whole story. As noted above, 475 signatures were collected, conflicting with the report of 250 people. That said, even if there were only 250 people (we didn’t count), that’s still pretty decent considering it was a pretty cold afternoon. Additionally, that story (and others like it) don’t really tell much about who showed up. We saw a diverse crowd of people and interests: campers, fishers, mountain bikers; people from Louisville (East Enders, Southwest Louisvillians, Highlanders, etc.), Hardin Countians, Meade Countians, OCP employees. And a few Camp Piomingo alumni (like us!). All of us had many reasons to be there, but all agreed on one thing: closing the park will be a huge blow not only to Louisville, but to the surrounding region as well.

There also seemed to be a consensus that further steps need to be taken by OCP supporters. Check State of the Commonwealth, as well as the Facebook group Save Otter Creek Park, for future updates. We also strongly encourage you to contact Louisville Metro government officials, if you haven’t already:

Mayor’s Office
Metro Hall / 4th Floor
527 W. Jefferson St.
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 574-2003

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

After the rally dispersed, we went walking around the Van Buren and North Point areas of the park, and took a few pictures (we didn’t take any at the rally). You can see them on our Flickr page here.


One Response to “Otter Creek Park Meeting/Rally a Success”

  1. I am one of those who built memories at OCP. My family called for reservations in the cabins overlooking the Ohio when I graduated from OCS in October of 1967. The park superintendent made special arrangements for us to stay, even though the park was closed to the public. As you can imagine, OCP was quiet and beautiful during our stay.

    Now living in Illinois, we have returned to the park whenever we are in striking distance. My wife and I had considered staying in the cabins this Spring and I found out about the closing when checking the Park’s website. How sad.

    Seems someone with imagination needs to take control. How about charging a membership fee for a core of people who would be rewarded with a couple get-togethers each year at the meeting center? If 475 people physically showed up to try and save the park, what do you suppose the numbers of folks would be if there were a “family membership package” were offered for say, $100 per year? That, along with modest fees to enter the park would cover much of the city’s shortfall, I would think.

    So Louisville, go out and find someone with motivation and imagination…
    Save this beautiful place!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: