Watts lists park county’s options to clarify acreage

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By Forrest Berkshire, Editor

Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts sent an email to The Standard and four county magistrates Monday morning clarifying the amount of acreage the county maintains.

Watts said the county currently maintains more than 94 acres of space, “not including what each city has to offer.”

Watts listed Dean Watts Park as 77 acres, although the county’s comprehensive plan includes an inventory of local parks and only lists it as 35 acres.

Watts also listed the park in Culvertown as 15 acres the county maintains and two acres in Balltown.

He also listed Wickland as green space at 66 acres, which the county owns, and the county fairgrounds at 80 acres.

The county also owns an old rock quarry that Watts has mentioned as potential green space to be developed, and his email Monday listed it at 134 acres.

The email was in response to an article in Sunday’s edition about a petition drive to have Nelson County Fiscal Court explore the option to purchase the former golf course at Woodlawn.

Based on a population of 45,000, Nelson County should have 90-180 acres of “large community parks,” as defined in the comprehensive plan. Dean Watts Park is the only park of that type listed, and the plan lists its acreage as 35.

Other types of parks listed are neighborhood parks and community parks.

Based on a population of 45,000, the plan says Nelson County should have 24-45 acres of “neighborhood” parks. The plan’s inventory of neighborhood parks comprise about 13.5 acres that include Balltown Park, two acres; Bloomfield Soccer Park, four acres; Jones Avenue Park at a quarter-acre; and Sportsman Club Park at 7.35 acres.

The plan also recommends 45-90 acres of community parks. Community parks in the plan comprise 64 acres and include Bardstown Community Park, 20 acres; Bloomfield Memorial Park, 7; Culvertown Park, 10-plus; Jones Avenue Park, 5; and Optimist Park in New Haven at 22 acres.

The plan does not provide recommendations for other classifications such as special use, which includes the 70 acres listed at the fairgrounds, or natural resource area, such as the 60 acres at Wickland.

The comprehensive plan, which is overdue for updating, recommends a combined 160-315 acres of parkland in neighborhood, community and large community parks for a population of 45,000. The comprehensive plan lists 112.6 acres, plus an additional 130 acres in the special-use areas of Wickland and the fairgrounds.

My Old Kentucky Home is a state park and is an additional 235 acres, according to the comprehensive plan.