Popular Richmond park remains closed months after storm damage

Nearly 100 trees snapped and fell at Camp Catalpa Park during the severe storms we had in late June.
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 2:06 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2023 at 2:07 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Nearly 100 trees snapped and fell at Camp Catalpa Park during the severe storms we had in late June.

Richmond’s Parks and Recreation Department has been working ever since to find a professional cleanup crew so the park can reopen.

People with parks and rec say there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

“We are very excited that we’re able to start the project. Many people are going to be excited,” said Erin Moore, Richmond Parks & Recreation.

Moore says ever since the park was revitalized in 2017, people have come to really love what it has to offer.

“The entire parking lot is full all the time, and it’s one of our best-kept secrets,” said Moore. “We do have access to walking trails, we have access to fishing, there’s a playground up there, and we’ve got an 18-hole disc golf course up there.”

So, as one can imagine, the storm damage is devastating.

“Every day we get people messaging us on Facebook, calling the parks department, ‘Hey! When’s Camp Catalpa going to be back?’” Moore said.

Moore says folks in the community have offered to help with cleanup, but the damage is too severe, even for their own employees.

“Downed trees, downed limbs. Those are all things our staff can take care of. But these bigger issues with full-sized trees and root beds, they all have to be removed safely,” said Moore.

Moore says the city went through an extensive bidding process over the last few weeks. They have awarded the project to a Kentucky-based company that’s expected to be done with cleanup by mid-September.

“We have to bid out projects that are over $30,000, and this project is probably close to that number,” said Moore.

Most of the damage, Moore says, is at the front of the park. Large trees did fall in the back, though, narrowly missing the park’s various structures.

“We appreciate the support of the community. They are understanding, and we do appreciate all their patience,” said Moore.

Moore says some people have gone into the park even though it’s closed. She reminds everybody not to do that because of the unsafe conditions.

Parks and Recreation doesn’t have a start date yet for cleanup. They say to follow along on their website and social media pages for updates.