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Shawnee Park Gets Another Improvement As City Continues to Invest

New chess tables in Shawnee Park unveiled on June 11, 2021.
New chess tables in Shawnee Park unveiled on June 11, 2021.

City officials and Shawnee neighborhood residents unveiled a series of improvements in Shawnee Park on Friday. The new amenities include chess tables and floating islands in the park’s pond. 

The park is one of Louisville’s three flagship parks designed by the country’s most famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. 

The Metropolitan Sewer Department invested $2.3 million in Shawnee Park following the installation of a drainage basin and used part of the funds to help restore the lily pond, said Layla George with the Olmsted Parks Conservancy. 

“LG&E and came in with the cherry on top, these three chess tables that you see with benches and space for ADA accessibility,” George said.

George says Olmsted designed Shawnee as a large play space, so they decided to place the chess tables on the south edge of the park beside the pond. 

Additional funding from the city and Heine Brothers paid for floating vegetation islands to contain the pond’s lilies. A new fountain is expected to be up and running later this summer. 

The Olmsted Conservancy added the chess tables consultation with the West Louisville Chess Club and the Shawnee Neighborhood Association, George said. 

The association's Rhonda Mathies cut the ribbon on the new chess tables. 

“Still more needs to be done. This is just one enhancement in the parks and we are grateful to it, but we still have so much more that needs to be done in our neighborhoods and in our community,” Mathies said. 



Ryan Van Velzer is the Kentucky Public Radio Managing Editor. Email Ryan at rvanvelzer@lpm.org.

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