Known as Muhammad Ali’s former stomping grounds and home to the West Louisville Tennis Club, Chickasaw Park is a place to be celebrated during Black History Month. It is believed to be the only park designed by the Olmsted firm specifically for the Black community during segregation.
The acreage of Chickasaw Park was half the total acreage of park land available to the Black community during segregation, and it was arguably the best, with amenities that other Black parks lacked.
“When I was a child, Chickasaw Park was not just my favorite park, it was my only park. To get to Chickasaw Park, we had to go through segregated communities, and that meant we had to arrive and leave by a certain time. In Chickasaw, all the safe-guard messages such as ‘can’t, don’t, be careful and watch who you say things to’ disappeared. Once we got to Chickasaw, we were in Black heaven.”
- Edward “Nardie” White, Founder and Director, River City Drum Corp
Chickasaw Park is a vibrant community space, mostly thanks to the West Louisville Tennis Club, which offers intergenerational programming on the park’s historic courts. Chickasaw Park and the West Louisville Tennis Club both celebrated their 100th anniversaries in 2023.
Work is underway to make Chickasaw Park better than ever! Louisville Parks and Recreation is restoring the pond and adding new walkways, a canoe launch and seating. Wilderness Louisville and Olmsted Parks Conservancy are working together on a nature play space and river overlook, and a lodge restoration project and the installation of a Butterfly and Bee pollinator garden will complete the improvements.