September 8, 2020

Nonprofit Proposes Plan For Innovative Park Along Ohio River

The plan for the nearly 600-acre park now spans property in New Albany leading to the Kentucky and Indiana Bridge. - River Heritage Conservancy

The plan for the nearly 600-acre park now spans property in New Albany leading to the Kentucky and Indiana Bridge.

River Heritage Conservancy

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A proposed urban park that would line the Ohio River along southern Indiana could become the first climate change-resilient riverside park designed in the Upper South and the Midwest, supporters say.

The River Heritage Conservancy said its proposal for Origin Park is designed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 75-year flooding projections in mind.

“This is a park that will not close in a flood — this is a park that will welcome you in a flood,” said Scott Martin, executive director of the nonprofit, which is leading the project.

The proposed cost for the project across the river from Kentucky is $130 million, with money coming from public and private entities. The nonprofit has collected $10 million so far, the News and Tribune reported.

The plan for the nearly 600-acre park now spans property in New Albany leading to the Kentucky and Indiana Bridge. It’s projected to be complete in about 20 years, Martin said.

The City of New Albany, however, hasn't yet endorsed the plan.

Origin Park is expected to have a “social heart,” the Infinity Loop, an accessible 2.8-mile trail that will include an elevated walkway over the Ohio River, Martin described.

“There are very few places in our community where you can go to feel that energy,” Martin said. “This park and that pathway will take you out over the Ohio and allow you to have that experience, making it a unique amenity not only for our region, but for what we believe is the entire Ohio River system."

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