Upcoming GPPA Speaker Meeting

~ Starting in 2017, Speaker Meetings will be held on the third Monday of the month. ~

Monday, September 18, 2017 at 7:30 PM
McElreath Hall
Atlanta History Center

Tom Smarr
Horticulture Director
The Parklands of Floyds Fork, Louisville, Kentucky

The Parklands of Floyds Fork

The Parklands is a systemic, world-class addition to Louisville's parks system that includes four major parks linked by a park drive, a first-rate urban trail system, and a remarkable water trail, all tracing Floyds Fork, a classic Kentucky stream. This public/private project is unique in the region and unlike anything currently in development across the country -- truly a city-shaping model.

In the early 1890s, Frederick Law Olmsted came to Kentucky to design one of his masterpieces: the Louisville parks system. Working on lands located well beyond the edge of the city, Olmsted created a ring of parks and parkways that remains one of Louisville's most remarkable assets. As the city grew around these parks in the early twentieth century, they perfectly encapsulated Olmsted's vision of "bringing nature into neighborhoods" as a way of shaping a city's geography, its social interactions, and its economies. Today, these urban parks create some of the most livable neighborhoods in the nation.

The Parklands of Floyds Fork cuts right through the heart of the last major undeveloped section of Metro Louisville. It preserves a vanishing landscape while creating the finest urban edge in the country. 21st Century Parks is employing world-class designers to express a contemporary and futuristic definition of beauty and function in the Floyds Fork corridor. In addition, there are plans for long-term maintenance funding to ensure that those parks will remain safe, clean, accessible public assets that will be well-used and well-loved by present and future generations.

Tom Smarr is a seasoned professional with two decades of experience in horticulture, botanic gardens, conservation, and organic landscaping. He holds a master's degree in urban horticulture from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. He has worked for established institutions such as the University of Washington Botanic Gardens in Seattle, WA and New England Wild Flower Society in Framingham, MA., but Tom's most notable work has been leading the management of horticulture at newly urban designed parks starting with the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in downtown Boston, MA built on top of the infamous "Big Dig" and the High Line in New York City as the Director of Horticulture. He has recently joined 21st Century Parks in Louisville, KY to work on design and management of horticulture for another modern model park in process of being developed. He is committed to the preservation of our cultural landscapes through sensible design, horticulture practices, and public education.

For more information, see The Parklands of Floyds Fork.


At monthly meetings, Members often pass on gardening magazines and catalogs to others
in an open swap, and light refreshments are offered beginning at 7:00 PM.

Meetings are free and open to the public.

Click here for more details about this and other informative GPPA Speaker Meetings and events!