JEFFERSONVILLE — A new park bearing a name familiar to some will soon occupy the corner of Charlestown Pike and Woehrle Road.
It's fitting that it should border the latter, as the park will be named Shirley's Arbor in honor of Shirley Woehrle, who used to own the land with husband John.
The 14-acre park will include a trail roughly half a mile in length and 8 feet in width. Running alongside the trail will be 125 newly planted trees, with five workout stations spread throughout its length.
The plan was announced by Mayor Mike Moore at a neighborhood meeting with Golfview residents this week. According to Moore, the park will serve a dual purpose, as it will also alleviate some of the flooding issues that have hit the area over the past few decades. That relief will come in the form of a retention pond, around which the trail will meander.
"The residents absolutely loved it," Moore said. "This is something that they were overwhelmed with. We're not only going to fix the drainage problem, but we're going to have a nice family park at their back door. Everybody that is in those subdivisions around this is going to have access to it."
Those subdivisions include Golfview, Northaven, Buttonwood, Courtyards of Buttonwood, Mallard Run and Foxboro.
The parcels on which the land sits used to belong to the Woehrles until roughly 15 years ago, Moore said. Over the years, it changed hands, with the city acquiring it recently through imminent domain.
Once the idea for the park came to mind, Moore thought it would be an opportunity to honor Shirley. Before making the announcement, he ran the idea by his childhood friend, Mary Beth, the daughter of Shirley and John.
"John and Shirley donated a lot of land to improve the city," I wanted to recognize [Mary Beth's] mother. She was very touched and became emotional. She loved it."
It was Mary Beth's idea, Moore said, to include the workout stations for exercises like pull ups and sit ups.
Moore said construction should begin in early 2020 with a completion date in the fall. No final price has been settled upon, though it is estimated to be roughly $600,000. An initial estimate was set at $900,000, but Moore said $300,000 could be saved by not hauling away some of the dirt on site.
"It was a huge thing to come together and take on a problem that's existed for 40 years," Moore said.