A number of public partners are in the process of developing a new style of park in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
TheU.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the city of Bowling Green, the Greenways Commission of Bowling Green & Warren County, Bowling Green Municipal Utilities and Western Kentucky University are partners in developing a conceptual design Master Plan for a whitewater course on the Barren River at Mitch McConnell Park in downtown Bowling Green. The park is being developed as the "birthplace of the Greenbelt," a countywide network of walking and biking pathways, trailheads and river access points. Numerous whitewater enthusiasts and paddling clubs across the region have thrown their support behind this project. As described by one of the partners, it has gathered momentum like a "snowball headed downhill".
The USACE and its consultants - GEC, Inc. and Recreation Engineering and Planning - presented preliminary concepts at an evening workshop at the BGMU Annex on Thursday, September 22, 2005. The preliminary concepts show a series of six pools dropping 10-12 feet and stretching approximately 1,200 feet downstream of the BGMU dam near the State Street Bridge. Sixty people attended the workshop, which included an informal presentation and an extended question and answer period. The consultants came away with input from the group to prepare one final conceptual design, which will also include cost estimates. The cost estimates should be available to review by mid-winter or first of spring 2006.
Dr. Steve Spencer, a professor in the Recreation Administration Program at Western Kentucky University and liason to the Greenway Commission, suggested the idea a few years ago to Former City Commissioner and Greenways Chairman Jim Bullington, who immediately saw the potential and began building support for it. It now looks like it might become a reality. Gary Lacy, one of the foremost designers in Whitewater Parks from Boulder Colorado, in partnership with team members from GEC, an engineering firm from Baton Rouge who specialize in water resource engineering are working together with the U.S. Corps of Engineers (Louisville District) to develop concept plans, address environmental issues and determine a cost for the development.
To learn more about the design engineer, Gary Lacy and his company Recreational Engineering and Planning, visit http://www.wwparks.com/. Eddy Carter and Adam Werth are the project managers with GEC for this particular initiative. Their website is http://www.gecinc.com/
Preliminary drawings and concept ideas were presented at a meeting held in Bowling Green September 22nd 2005. An article by the Park City Daily News provides an excellent overview. Over 60 people were in attendance.
Click here to view the River Park Expansion Map presented by the Greenways Commission. Click here for an overview of the first meeting. Click here to be added to the master e-mail list which will keep you informed of any upcoming meetings and periodically request feedback from those interested in the initiative.
Preliminary concept plan drawings: (Click on any of the photos below for a larger version.)
Concept Plan Drawing
Concept Plan Drawing
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