A Beautiful Community Space and a magnificent gift to the neighborhood

Decades ago, one man had a vision to take a little scrap of unwanted, ignored and landlocked parcel of land in his neighborhood ­ which was a dangerous wilderness and dumping ground ­ and make it into a safe, peaceful and beautiful resource for the entire community and for future generations. That man was Hal Warheim.

In 1974, Hal Warheim began the process of purchasing an undeveloped parcel of land, ­a remnant from the original 1920s neighborhood development ­bounded and landlocked by residential lots fronting on Overlook Terrace, Yale Drive and Boulevard Napoleon in Louisville, Kentucky. "The Woods," as it was called by neighborhood residents, was overgrown and unkempt, but Hal saw its potential ­ as a redeemed green space, and a neighborhood park that could be enjoyed by the entire community.

With a cadre of committed supporters who believed in the vision, Hal spearheaded the three-decade process it took to create Warheim Park. The hurdles and work were often steep and hard. The process to purchase, clean up the dense brush and trash, plan, design, overcome intense legal and bureaucratic hurdles, and the creation of the infrastructures that would help support and maintain the park for the long term was demanding, often frustrating and sometimes felt insurmountable. But with patience and persistence, the dream became a reality in 2004.

At the entrance to the park stands a large rock resembling the lofty alpine peak of Matterhorn - selected personally by Hal - to symbolize the long, steep, hard climb which described the nearly thirty-year effort to create this park. And now, what was once a dangerous, impenetrable wasteland and dumping ground, has been redeemed as an elegant, tranquil, playful and useful public place for all to love and enjoy.

“I believe that it is providential that, years ago, when this neighborhood was developed, this little scrap of land was unwanted and ignored and grew into a dangerous wilderness and dumping ground. But it was destined to one day become a safe, peaceful and beautiful resource for all the neighbors and future generations. So now, let us open the earth and let our dream be born!”
— Hal Warheim, Wareheim Park Groundbreaking Ceremony, August 13, 2003