Louisville's Sprawl Threatens One of its Last Clean-Running Streams

New subdivision planning and construction is expected to expand the footprint of the Louisville metropolitan area. The question is whether those new developments will protect or harm the beloved Floyds Fork.

1 minute read

June 28, 2017, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Floyds Fork Louisville

Bryan Siders / Flickr

"One of the surest ways to kill a stream is to build a city around it," writes James Bruggers. Louisville is in danger of proving that maxim true another time.

"Most Louisville creeks and streams have long been in terrible condition….But not Floyds Fork," writes Bruggers.

Now, however, the stream is at what Bruggers describes as a critical juncture: "Its Clean Water Act protection is stuck in a bureaucratic quagmire — the stream's future tied to the fate of the last, large area of Jefferson County not already fully developed."

Developers have turned their post-recession attention to the relatively undeveloped southeast corner of Jefferson County. There the recently opened Parklands of Floyds Fork has provided proof of concept for the popularity of open space with water running through it. "Yet despite the city and federal governments spending nearly $1 million of taxpayer money on various Floyds Fork studies going back a decade, there's still no agreement on how to improve the creek's water quality." 

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