‘Climate-Adaptive’ Park Planned for Ohio River Shoreline

The project aims to slow erosion along the riverbank and restore the formerly industrial area to a more natural state.

1 minute read

July 24, 2022, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Rendering of kayakers on river and people sitting on riverbank in new park

River Heritage Conservancy / Rendering of Origin Park

Southern Indiana will soon be home to the region’s first “climate-adaptive park,” reports David Kidd in Governing. Dubbed Origin Park, the project is a public-private partnership led by the River Heritage Conservancy. “The new park is being developed at the Falls of the Ohio, a 2-mile stretch of onetime waterfalls and rapids, since mitigated by a series of dams.” Nearby, the Ohio River Greenway features almost seven miles of multi-use paths, which will connect to Origin park via an elevated addition.

When complete, the new park will offer miles of hiking and biking trails across a natural landscape of forests, streams and meadows, all within a half-hour drive for 1.2 million people. The park is designed to remediate past environmental abuses, adapt to future flooding events, and slow years of riverbank erosion.

There’s a lot of work still to be done before the park officially opens. “Designed to be environmentally adaptable and financially sustainable, the park’s completion is years away, with a price tag projected to be at least $130 million.” As the article explains, “there are still a number of private parcels within the park’s boundaries that will need to be returned to their natural state. Some parts of the post-industrial wasteland of junk yards and landfills have already been purchased. Negotiations are underway for the rest.”

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