Leslie Morris Park holds special importance to me as it is practically right outside from my front door. My grandparent’s lived in Thornhill, and I explored the area as a kid, long before I knew of it as Fort Hill or any of its historical significance.
Due to its prominent location almost in the heart of the city, Leslie Morris Park and Fort Hill is a welcome refuge and offers some of the best views of Downtown Frankfort. It is a tremendous (but underused) asset for Frankfort and has the potential to be a focal point of downtown residents and tourists alike. The park’s strategic location means even more with the future development of the Capital Plaza site, and the anticipated influx of new residents and employees.
The Parks Department is overdue for a comprehensive master plan that encompasses all the park system, not just Leslie Morris Park. It is my understanding that initial steps have been taken to begin updating the comprehensive plan, so it may be premature to consider any major initiatives before the experts have weighed in. As mayor, if no progress has been made to update the park’s new master plan, I will make it a priority to make it happen.
I am all for more biking and other recreational opportunities in Frankfort. Whatever plans are considered for Leslie Morris Park and Fort Hill should involve the Park department’s Historic Sites division and public input. After all, the park contains a historic Civil War site, an archaeological site, and a cemetery. Above all, I want an open and transparent process and a plan that balances historic preservation and increased usability.