Ludlow Memorial Park reopens after months-long closure and ‘ongoing battle’ to keep people out

Haley Parnell
Haley Parnell
Haley is a reporter for LINK nky. Email her at [email protected]

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Memorial Park in Ludlow reopened Memorial Day weekend after it was closed in October 2021 to undergo renovations. After two years of planning on top of seven months of work, the park officially reopened with a new baseball field, playground equipment, fresh concrete, concessions, and bathrooms.

New playground equipment at Memorial Park. Photo by Haley Parnell.

In May, a grand opening was held for the first phase of the renovations at the park on Lemker Field — the baseball field at the park.

Crews built and painted dugouts, replaced fences, put new turf in the outfield, and planted shrubs and other plants.

Lemker Field renovation. Photo by Haley Parnell.

The concrete in the park was refinished to make the park wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Concession stands and bathrooms are the last part of the renovations that need to be completed, something the park hasn’t had in about 30 years. Once those last two projects are completed a grand opening celebration will be held at the park.

Overview of Memorial Park. Photo by Haley Parnell.

The renovations didn’t come without a few headaches along the way.

“We’ve made so many announcements, we’ve posted so many signs. I can’t even tell you how insanely ridiculous not kids, but adults have been about staying out of the park,” Ludlow City Administrator and Police Chief Scott Smith said. “It’s been an ongoing battle since we started this project.”

Smith said the biggest issue was skateboarders breaking in to use the skate park and people using the basketball courts, claiming they didn’t know they were part of the park closures even with orange fencing and signs around stating they were closed.

“It wasn’t kids; kids were easy, you’d say, ‘hey guys,’ and they’d be like ‘oh sorry’” Smith said. “It was usually 20-something-year-old adults skateboarding, and once the playground equipment started getting put up, adults were taking their children down there. Even though it was obvious (it was closed), there was mud, stakes sticking up out of the ground.”

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During the May 12 Ludlow council meeting, Smith said he had reached his limit and would start involving the police as necessary.

On May 21 the Ludlow Police Department posted on their Facebook page that “a group of adults and a child” had broken into the park and was witnessed by an officer walking on freshly poured concrete.

Photo provided by Ludlow Police Department.

“We had to bring somebody in and pay them because they were off for the day, the guy who did the concrete, we had to pay him to come back,” Smith said. “So, it cost the city money.”

Smith said during the closure they made about four arrests and handed out 30 citations.

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