Walking Journal / Walking

Walk 13 – Karen Lynch Park

. 2 min read . Written by Russell Smith
Walk 13 – Karen Lynch Park

Um, Karen deserves better

Like Breslin Park (Walk 5), I often drive by Karen Lynch Park on my way downtown to my office. I had never stopped to visit the park. Today dawned cool and bright – a perfect time to tour a small corner of the city I’ve never seen.

The park sits next to the Louisville MSD (sewer district) Beargrass Creek Pumping Plant in Butchertown. Now, perhaps the plant makes a ton of noise at times, but it lay dormant and quiet during my visit. The neighborhood, Butchertown, is named, well, for a reason. The smell of processed pork products often permeate and overwhelms the air. Again, today, I smelled nothing of the sort.

In 2012, Beargrass Creek Trailway Park was renamed Karen Lynch Park, in remembrance of her work on behalf of the Butchertown neighborhood. She deserves better.

The Louisville Metro website doesn’t list this as a park under its purview and I couldn't find information about its upkeep by the Butchertown Neighborhood Association. I saw other signs of the negligence of man. Literally – signs from the late 1990s in extreme disrepair. Trash. A water dispensing station rusted out.

There was negligence...and there was...silliness. Most puzzling, as in Gnadinger Park (Walk 3), a surprising quantity of asphalt covered a non-trivial portion of the park. Here, an asphalt ring encircled two trees – in case visitors want to take a very short walk around and around and around, I guess? Really, to what end was this asphalt added? It requires additional upkeep by the city, which, judging by its general state of disrepair, has not been forthcoming in some time. Various concrete squares were also arrayed haphazardly, seemingly for sitting. But again, I wondered, why?

I had planned to walk around for a while, then sit to do some writing. But my time here disappointed me – again, too many signs of man’s foolhardy negligence. I pondered what Karen Lynch would think of the state of the park named for her. Would she feel pride? Should we?

I quickly tired of this sad example of humanity’s thoughtless plodding on the natural world. I needed to heed the call of nature.