We've received a couple of questions about the areas of The Parklands rented over the weekend to service PGA Championship parking.
First, let me assure you that our natural areas management team evaluated and helped us select areas for PGA parking activities where minimal impact to natural areas would be possible. For this reason, we are only allowing parking in areas with active landscape turf or agricultural practices (areas with a quick recovery time). No meadows, forests, or other carefully managed natural area habitat type areas are impacted. Given how much we've spent re-establishing the park's natural areas, there is no way we would want to damage them. Of the over 3,600 acres of Parklands, the PGA is using less than 150 acres for parking activities for this five day event.
Second, the PGA is responsible for returning these parking areas to us in the condition in which they were found. This means that turf will be replanted, edges will be brought back to their manicured condition, and the agricultural area will be planted in a cover crop for the winter.
Third, as a donor-supported public park that receives no tax support for operations, we have to act a bit more entrepreneurial in our financial modeling. The PGA is a great partner of ours, and their rental fee for use of these areas will go right back into our operation budget helping manage and care for over 3,600 acres of Parklands.
We take our stewardship responsibilities very seriously and sp far this year have restored acres of warm season meadows, planted over 1,000 trees, and removed invasive plants for an additional 300 acres within the park. I can't think of an organization in Louisville that has done this degree of conservation work over the past year. For a public park, it's all about striking the right balance between public use and conservation. For the PGA, we are using landscape (active park) and agricultural areas exclusively, and not prioritized natural area/conservation acreage.
Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to let us know. Thank you for your patience and concern about protecting park assets.
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