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Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

At Olmsted Parks Conservancy, we value diversity in all its forms for the same reason we value biodiversity in our parks: it makes communities more resilient, sustainable, and vibrant. Our parks are an intrinsic part of Louisville, and, as an organization striving for inclusivity, we commit to fostering diversity and respect both in nature and neighborhoods.

Land Acknowledgement

Olmsted Parks Conservancy recognizes Native American and Indigenous peoples as the longest serving stewards of the land that is now our park system.

We recognize that the state of Kentucky is the ancestral lands of the Shawnee, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Osage, Seneca-Iroquois, Miami, Hopewell, Adena and many other nations. We acknowledge the systemic policies of genocide and relocation that still negatively impact many Indigenous people in our community today. We strive to build more inclusive parks, and we commit to fostering diversity and respect both in nature and neighborhoods.

Additional Resources

Naming the Parks

In 1891, Louisville’s first Park Board of Commissioners tasked Reuben Durrett, President of the Filson Historical Society, to prepare a report on possible park names to submit to the rest of the board. He identified three Indigenous groups that figured prominently in Kentucky’s history: the Shawnee, Iroquois and Cherokee. Durrett proposed park names in each Indigenous language for the three original flagship parks. An editorial in the Courier-Journal asserted that the proposed names were obscure and difficult to pronounce, and that the names of the Indigenous groups themselves should be adopted instead. With the naming of the parks, the board intended to honor the history and legacy of these Indigenous people.

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Richard Werking: Trials, Tribulations, and Some "Remarkable Advances"

Richard Werking's lecture explores the origins of Louisville's Olmsted Park System and the process of naming the parks.

Origins of the Olmsted Parks

Park Equity

Olmsted Parks Conservancy supports the Parks for All Action Plan, a comprehensive, long-term roadmap to build equity and excellence in Louisville’s public park system. Since 1989, we have worked to restore Louisville’s original Olmsted designed park system, using data to prioritize those with the most need. The long-term plan to increase city investment in parks will enhance our work as the fundraising and advocacy partner to Louisville Parks and Recreation.

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If you have questions about our commitments, or improvement ideas to for us to consider, please get in touch.

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