In honor of its participation in the Healthiest Cities and Counties challenge, Louisville Metro’s West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative (WLORI), was selected as a runner-up to grand-prize winner, Charlotte, North Carolina (Mecklenburg, County) in the mid-sized city or county category (population 250,001 – 600,000. The WLORI is a multi-sector, grant-funded initiative, based at Jefferson Memorial Forest to create equitable access in west Louisville through expansion of Louisville ECHO (Louisville is Engaging Children Outdoors) programming and implementation of proposed outdoor recreation infrastructure improvements. Wilderness Louisville is proud to also support the Louisville ECHO program.
The Challenge was launched in partnership with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), empowering 50 small-to-mid-sized cities and counties nationwide to make measurable, scalable improvements to public health issues in their local communities. Since its inception, the Challenge awarded a total of $1.5 million in grants and prizes to the 50 participating programs to support their efforts to tackle the most pressing health issues facing their communities.
As a runner-up, Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation, WLORI initiative-owner, received a $50,000 prize which will increase capacity for Louisville ECHO programming in 2019.