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December 30, 2012

West Riverfront vision comes into focus

Park celebrating Clarksville’s historic significance takes a step closer to becoming a reality



But there’s still plenty of work to be done before the park can be constructed. Part of the plan for the park calls for the acquisition of land west of Mill Creek that is currently privately owned, and funding sources must be identified.  Aside from land acquisition, environmental work and remediation will need to be completed because of the neglected state of the riverfront.

“We’ve had some past landfills down there and who knows what,” said Brian Kaluzny, Clarksville Parks and Recreation superintendent. “There’s obviously been some dumping that’s been going on through the years, so we need to do some environmental work so we know what we’ve got — or what we’re going to be getting.”

The proposed park’s proximity to other public parks will make it a natural fit with some funding sources, Kaluzny said.

“I’m sure we can partner with the [Indiana] Department of Natural Resources because of the [Falls of the Ohio] Interpretive Center,” Kaluzny said. “George Rogers Clark State Park is right next to it. Then we have the town facilities there with Lewis and Clark Park and the recently purchased Spond Property.”

Other funding could come from the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau, grants from the state and federal governments and partnerships with local colleges and universities, Kaluzny said.

The creation of the renderings will help with forming those partnerships, he said.

“I think it definitely helps people visualize what can be,” Kaluzny said. “We’ve talked about it for quite some time, and the plan spells out everything, but until you get a picture in front of somebody, it’s hard to understand words sometimes, and pictures will help that.”

Under normal circumstances, the artistic and architectural work done by The Estopinal Group would cost in excess of the $10,000 charged by the firm, but the project was deemed worthy of a donation of time and effort, Wilson said.

“We take a lot of pride in doing things that are here in our backyard,” Wilson said. “When you see good people after good causes, it’s easy to chip in and want to be part of the process, part of the solution. We knew that this is only one small park, and they’re going to have to go out and do a lot of hard work in raising the money to be able to accomplish the masterplan.

“But they’ve got a great start on it, and we’re just happy to be part of the process.”

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