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Frederick Law Olmsted’s “pastoral” landscapes exhibit a sense of extended space and gracefully modulated ground with smooth, close-cropped turf. This style he found to be a special antidote to the ill effects of urban life.

News

MSD is planning a project in Shawnee Park

November 20, 2015

MSD is planning a project in Shawnee Park and we need your input.

Olmsted Parks Conservancy needs your help to protect Shawnee Park, one of the flagship Olmsted-designed parks in Louisville. We encourage you to read on and participate in the survey linked below.

The Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) has selected Shawnee Park as a site to install a 20 million gallon underground detention basin designed to hold rain water from large storm events. Because Louisville has a “combined sewer system” rain water mixes with sewer water before being sent to the nearby Morris Foreman Plant for proper treatment. Under the current system, when the diluted sewage exceeds the capacity of the treatment plant, excess untreated sewage is pumped into the Ohio River; this is an unwanted situation and a violation of the federal Clean Water Act. Under the new system, MSD will construct a new basin underground in Shawnee Park to hold combined effluent until sufficient capacity is available at the Morris Foreman Plant for proper treatment, lessening the need to pump raw sewage into the river. Shawnee Park is the selected site due to the presence of several large sewer mains already existing under the park. The plan is part of the agreement to install several storage basins throughout the city in settlement of the lawsuit filed by federal EPA.

The location of the basin within the park is undecided; two sites are being considered: the Maintenance Site (Site A) and The Great Lawn (Site B). MSD’s consulting team, which includes an Olmsted design expert, analyzed these and several other sites earlier this year. Site A was determined to have the least negative long-term impact on the park; however MSD has reopened the discussion based on recent feedback from area residents and now invites the entire community to weigh in via a survey on the MSD website.

Olmsted Parks Conservancy is concerned about the impact of such a huge installation in the Great Lawn in Shawnee Park. Why? The disruption to normal park use during the projected two-year-plus construction period and the quality of the restoration effort. The Conservancy’s Board has resolved that until MSD can demonstrate that The Great Lawn will be protected, we support the consultants’ recommendation of Site A, the one having the least adverse impact. With the help of donors like you, the Conservancy has invested over $2,000,000 in Shawnee Park over the years. Now, we must do what we can to preserve the values of this historic, well-loved, beautiful place.

Your input on the site selection will help resolve some of the above-mentioned concerns. Please click on the button below. After responding to a few demographical questions, and viewing several slides explaining the project, you’ll be asked to vote on Site A or B. We ask for your support of Site A.

MSD Shawnee Park Storage Basin Plan and Survey

Thanks for your time and commitment to protecting our Olmsted Parks.

As stated above there are other MSD projects throughout the city. One project that has started is at Logan Street. Please see below for information about and photos from the project.