We are pleased to welcome Jason Hindenach as Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s new Project Director! He will succeed former Project Director Major Waltman, who led the nonprofit through park improvements for 18 years and will transition to a new part-time role as a semi-retirement in July. Hindenach will guide major projects in Cherokee, Chickasaw, Elliott and Tyler Parks in 2024, and most notably will take the lead on the Olmsted Park System’s historic expansion with the development of Beargrass Preserve. Jason has more than 20 years of experience working as an engineer and project manager and comes to us from Louisville Parks and Recreation.
Major will transition to a part time role with OPC’s Team for Healthy Parks, a division of the Conservancy that he helped establish in order to advance sustainability and biodiversity in the park system’s natural areas. Under his leadership, invasive honeysuckle has been almost eradicated from Cherokee and Seneca Parks, leading to a woodland restoration that has dramatically increased native wildflowers, increased biodiversity, and enhanced safety in the parks. His background in science is evident in the water quality demonstration projects he led in Cherokee, Iroquois, and Chickasaw Parks. His most notable capital projects include a restoration of Hogan’s Fountain at Cherokee Park, complete park restoration of Victory Park and Tyler Park, Bonnycastle Hill in Cherokee Park, Iroquois Park’s Sunnyhill Pavilion and North Overlook, improvements at Central Park, and enhanced natural trails in Iroquois, Seneca, and Cherokee Parks. OPC members know him as the bird expert who can always identify feathered friends by sight or sound.
Hindenach will take charge of the following Olmsted Parks Conservancy projects:
Thanks to a generous $8 million gift from Norman and Belita Noltemeyer, Olmsted Parks Conservancy was able to purchase approximately 25 acres of land from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in December 2021. The property acquisition represents the first major expansion of Louisville’s Cherokee Park. Known as Beargrass Preserve, the land is currently the subject of a master planning process led by Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group.
Chickasaw Park “Butterfly and Bee” pollinator garden in honor of Muhammad Ali:
OPC received a request for a pollinator garden in honor of Chickasaw Park’s most famous user Muhammad Ali through a park user survey. Thanks to support from the Glenview Garden Club and Garden Club of America, the project has grown to a 1.5 acre pollinator meadow.
Chickasaw Park lodge renovation:
Investment in the Chickasaw Park lodge will include new windows, renovated bathrooms and kitchen, new HVAC and more.
Chickasaw Park Tennis Courts:
Home to the West Louisville Tennis Club, the Chickasaw Park tennis courts are due for renovation. Chickasaw Park has the only free, public clay courts in the city.
Elliott Park full restoration:
Olmsted Parks Conservancy and Louisville Parks and Recreation broke ground on a $2.9 million restoration project at Elliott Park on November 7! The restoration includes a new spraypad, updated field house and bathrooms, picnic facilities, and walking paths.
Tyler Park new stage construction:
A generous gift to Olmsted Parks Conservancy has made it possible to build the new Tyler Park stage. The stage is the last capital improvement of the Tyler Park Restoration Plan that was initiated in 2018. Olmsted Parks Conservancy and Louisville Parks and Recreation have invested almost $1.5 million in the park since 2018.
Gaulbert (Big Rock) Pavilion:
The Gaulbert Pavilion situated near Big Rock in Cherokee Park will be partially enclosed, making it an attractive space for event rentals. Additional improvements to the area include an updated playground surface and new signage.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Jason for years on our projects, most recently Central Park and Tyler Park. I am thrilled to welcome him to the team during this pivotal time in our history. With the addition of Beargrass Preserve, our mission and impact are growing and Jason is just the right person to lead our expansion.” – Layla George, Olmsted Parks Conservancy President and CEO
“Creating a legacy for the Olmsted Parks Conservancy of building, managing, and maintaining cultural landmarks will be the pride of my career. Beargrass Preserve is a challenge that I look forward to tackling alongside the OPC Board of Directors, staff and members. I know that together, we can create something truly special that will last for generations to come.” – Jason Hindenach, Olmsted Parks Conservancy Project Director