21st Century Parks

21st Century Parks statement on The 21st Century Parks Endowment, Inc.

21st Century Parks is the 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that conceived and developed The Parklands of Floyds Fork in Louisville, Kentucky, one of the largest new metropolitan parks projects in the country.

An innovative public-private partnership, The Parklands receives no tax dollars to support its annual operations, which cost about $4,500,000 in 2017, all of which must be raised or earned.

The Parklands Fund is the annual vehicle for donations to the park, and we also receive support from a wonderful group of members, as well as volunteers, who contribute both money and time to the organization.

The Gheens Foundation Lodge, as well as the hosting of other kinds of events in The Parklands, also earns income which helps to underwrite the annual budget.

Finally, a separate 501(c)(3) corporation, The 21st Century Parks Endowment, Inc., provides funding for a variety of needs within The Parklands. These include annual maintenance, and over time as the endowment grows, deferred maintenance, as one of our key goals is to ensure that The Parklands maintains its high standard of quality by refusing to allow deferred maintenance tasks to build up over time.

The 21st Century Parks Endowment, like most endowments, has a diverse allocation of its assets. It has also invested in real estate around The Parklands, and will use the proceeds of those lands, as they are developed or sold, to grow the endowment, helping to ensure that our high standards for maintenance and visitor experience will be sustained into the future.

The most visible real estate investment currently is Oakland Hills, a development purchased by the endowment during the recession that has been redesigned to reflect stronger environmental planning, recreational and road connections to The Parklands, and a mixture of housing prices and types.

With recognition and study of the pattern of growth around Louisville’s original Olmsted Parks a century ago, and a realistic recognition of the strong growth rates in eastern and southern Jefferson County, the Endowment hopes to define a model of what good development around The Parklands can be.

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