21st Century Parks Hires Horticulture Director


Media Contact:

Anna Rosales-Crone

Communications Coordinator




Louisville, Ky. (September 11, 2015)21st Century Parks Inc., the nonprofit organization responsible for the construction and management of Louisville’s newest public park system The Parklands of Floyds Fork, is pleased to announce the hiring of Horticulture Director Tom Smarr—a seasoned professional with two decades of experience in horticulture, botanic gardens, conservation, and organic landscaping.

Smarr holds a master’s degree in urban horticulture from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. He has worked for established institutions such as the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and New England Wild Flower Society in Framingham, Mass. His most notable work has been leading the management of horticulture at newly designed urban parks, making him a perfect fit for The Parklands project.

"Tom's leadership, vision, experience, and passion in delivery of world-class horticultural experiences for park visitors makes him one of our nation's leading green space thinkers, and he built this experience in very challenging, urban conditions for plant communities,” said Park Director Scott Martin.

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, opened in 2008 in downtown Boston, Mass., was Smarr’s first venture in the world of urban parks. Most recently he served as Horticulture Director at the High Line, a public park in New York City developed along unused, elevated train rails. He is committed to the preservation of our cultural landscapes through sensible design, horticulture practices and public education. 

“Parklands' visitors, members, and donors are exceptionally fortunate as this park now has its landscape experience lead by a Park Superintendent that delivered countless PGA Championship events and a Ryder Cup (Mark Wilson), and a Director of Horticulture who is on the forefront of defining the great new urban park garden experience (Tom),” Martin said. “We can't think of a park in the nation with this level of expertise in the stewardship of park resources."

Smarr’s arrival in Louisville precedes the opening of Turkey Run Park—the third of four parks in The Parklands urban park system. His work will include overseeing Broad Run Park's 15-acre Woodland Garden, opening to the public in the spring of 2016.

“The Parklands is an impressive project set within a beautiful, natural landscape,” said Director of Horticulture Tom Smarr. “I am excited to join this talented team, furthering the goals of 21st Century Parks by creating more garden experiences for visitors to enjoy.”

For more information on the hiring of Tom Smarr, or on The Parklands, please contact Communications Coordinator Anna Rosales-Crone at (502) 584-0350 or at acrone@21cparks.org.


About The Parklands of Floyds Fork

The Parklands of Floyds Fork is a nearly 4,000-acre donor-supported public park system under development within the Floyds Fork watershed in eastern and southeastern Louisville. One of the largest and most ambitious metropolitan park projects in the nation, The Parklands is a dream realized by 21st Century Parks Inc., a nonprofit organization established to create and preserve new unexcelled parks that serve as city-shaping infrastructure. The Parklands is now 35% open, currently operating and programming the first two of four parks in Eastern Jefferson County. The third park is scheduled to open in October of 2015. Major construction of all four parks is expected to be completed in the spring of 2016. 21st Century Parks Inc., is responsible for fundraising, land acquisition, construction, and long-term operations of the new park system. Community members may contribute to the annual fund by becoming a Parklands Member. Learn more at http://TheParklands.org/member

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