The LPF board is made up of community leaders and individuals passionate about Louisville’s parks and are dedicated to help keeping our City’s parks a destination for nature and recreation.
Mary Helen Hamilton
Director, Louisville Parks and Recreation
The Louisville Parks Foundation completed a comprehensive Strategic Plan in March 2018. Our Strategic Planning Committee and Board of Directors worked for several months to identify strategies and measurable objectives to achieve our mission, and committed to revisiting the plan on an ongoing basis to ensure we respond to internal and external changes. In keeping with that commitment, the plan was updated in 2019, to acknowledge our progress, and establish new goals.
The Louisville Metro Parks Foundation, LLC, (LMPF) was formed as a 501(c) non-profit in December 2005, to support the parks and community programs not funded by other local non-profits. The initial concentration of the Foundation was as the fiscal agent for land acquisitions for Jefferson Memorial Forest and the Louisville Loop.
In 2012, the Foundation completed its first major signature project, the Breslin Park Walking Path. This success began a new focus for the Foundation, a goal to raise funds for playgrounds in three West Louisville Parks. Fundraising toward this goal was in its infancy until Jim Wood, from the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, brought Louisville Jack O’Lantern Spectacular (JOLS) to town in 2013. LMPF agreed to partner with the producers of the show, and became the recipient of the proceeds.
In the spring of 2015, (after the second JOLS) there were sufficient funds to install a fully-inclusive playground in California Park, which is utilized by the California Community Center and Wheatley Elementary School. In 2017, the Foundation installed the final two playgrounds from the initial plan, one in Lannan Park, and one in Russell Lee Park. The completion of these projects brought the total dollars invested in Louisville Metro Parks to more than $5 million.
As the proceeds from JOLS grew, the Foundation grew too. The Board added members, developed new Mission and Vision Statements, updated the By-Laws, created a new logo, and the decision was made to “do business as” the Louisville Parks Foundation (LPF).
In 2016, the Foundation contracted its first employee, a part-time Development Director, to focus on increasing JOLS Sponsorships, and expanding our community reach. This move not only increased sponsorships, but allowed the Foundation to spearhead a social media identity campaign, participate in two online fundraisers, and initiate two signature events, thereby creating exponential growth.
By Fall 2017, it became clear the Foundation needed full-time leadership. A President/CEO was hired in November 2017, and the initial project for 2018 was to develop a Strategic Plan to create a clear path to even greater success, and increase the impact LPF can have on the community. The plan was completed in Spring 2018, and can be reviewed through link above.
In June 2018, the Foundation brought on a Communications Director, as a direct result of the strategic planning process and the identified need to build awareness of the organization. In June 2019, the Foundation opened an office at the Douglass Community Center, and brought on an Office Administrator. With three full-time employees, the Foundation is well-positioned to continue to deliver on our strategic priorities.