Legacy Greenscapes was founded as a nonprofit organization in 2017 with the purpose to ensure the people of Clark County have access to fun, clean, safe, and beautiful public spaces. Legacy Greenscapes manages and maintains Legacy Grove.
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Beginning in 2012, The Greater Clark Foundation brought together more than 200 community members and formed a youth design team to give dreams and ideas for redeveloping the former Clark Regional Medical Center site in Winchester, KY. Community voices were clear in calling for an innovative public park. The park was dubbed “Project 1107” for its address at 1107 W. Lexington Ave.
Public roundtable participants and Project 1107 Committee created the following guiding principles:
- Mentally and Physically Inspiring
- Geared Toward Family and Individual Activities
- Incorporates Public Art
- Incorporates Environmentally Friendly Infrastructure
- Must Add Cultural and Economic Value to the Community
Using these principles, community members discussed and made recommendations about what they wanted to see in the park. Local experts were brought in to begin creating a design concept. They included landscape architect Bill Esarey, architect and designer Melody Farris Jackson, and landscape architecture professor Ned Crankshaw.
In 2014, Fred Kent, founder of the Project for Public Spaces (PPS), came to Winchester to speak with community members about creating the new park, including how it will be used and what will be most valuable to the community. Kent introduced the Power of 10+ concept to community members.
“The idea behind this concept is that places thrive when users have a range of reasons (10+) to be there. These might include a place to sit, playgrounds to enjoy, art to touch, music to hear, food to eat, history to experience, and people to meet. Ideally, some of these activities will be unique to that particular place, reflecting the culture and history of the surrounding community.” – Project for Public Spaces
Kent also provided insights and lessons from park projects across the country; all in an effort to help Clark County create a great park.
From Concept to Reality
The Greater Clark Foundation hired Learning Landscapes Design, a firm nationally known for creating inclusive, outdoor spaces for learning and play using youth civic engagement, to design the two-acre Adventure Play Area with the help of local elementary-aged youth. Regional firms CARMAN and Dean Builds joined the team to design and construct park amenities outside the play area – a welcoming entry plaza, ADA-accessible walking paths, dog parks, open lawns, neighborhood entrances, green infrastructure and native landscaping. The American Ginseng-inspired shade sculpture in the center of the play area was designed and constructed by Prometheus Art. Park construction began in spring 2018 and concluded in June 2020. The park was named Legacy Grove and formally dedicated by The Greater Clark Foundation in June 2021 as a legacy gift to the community.
With the park build complete, Legacy Greenscapes — a new nonprofit dedicated to improving access to parks and greenspace — took on the important role of operating and maintaining Legacy Grove. This privately-owned, public park is open to the public every day of the year and operates solely on donations from park guests and others.
Great Communities have Great Public Parks
When we say, “great communities have great public parks,” we mean it. Public parks enhance our community’s quality of life and well-being. Research backs that up. Public spaces provide spaces for social interaction, foster a sense of belonging and pride in the area, encourage a more outdoor lifestyle, provide opportunities for physical activity and play, and reduce stress.* Other studies show green spaces lower blood pressure, improve attention, and reduce feelings of fear and anger or aggression.
In addition to health and social benefits, great public spaces also have the ability to attract businesses and create jobs. Easy access to parks and open space has become a new measure of community wealth nationwide. It’s an important way to attract businesses and residents by guaranteeing both quality of life and economic health. Corporate CEO’s say quality of life for employees is the third-most important factor in locating a business, behind access to domestic markets and availability of skilled labor.**
*Study by Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE)
**“How Cities Use Parks for Economic Development,” American Planning Association