The Trager MicroForest Project

at Founders Square

A catalytic project connecting
people with nature and
changing the way the community
experiences our downtown
Trager Family Foundation logo
view of founders square from the Louisville Gardens on Armory
View of Founders Square from the Louisville Gardens on Armory

With a mission to explore the linkages between the design of our cities and their impact on human health, the Envirome Institute's Urban Design Studio at the University of Louisville will begin to oversee a project to intensely green Founders Square in the heart of downtown Louisville. Through the generous support of the Trager family, we will reimagine urban greening and measure its impact on the health of our community.

This project is about designing a healthier city while revitalizing our downtown. It is about the way the core of our city looks and functions for the people who live, work, and visit. It is about considering the needs of the entire community, including those whose needs are typically overlooked. This is about pointing in a direction and working towards a goal to not simply bring downtown back to what it was before 2020, but to move towards a city that makes people happier and healthier.

Through the Trager MicroForest Project, the Urban Design Studio and Envirome Institute will explore how an intensely planted urban green space can become a catalyst that promotes health and transforms people’s perception and attachment to the heart of our city.

Stay tuned to this space to learn more about The Trager MicroForest Project at Founders Square.

Latest Trager MicroForest Project Related News & Notes

More Related Field Notes

Why Focus on Downtown

Pivotal Moment for Downtown

A New Vision of Health Campus

Big Picture Goals

Why Founders Square

The MicroForest Concept

Next Steps

How to Get Involved

The Trager MicroForest Project at Founders Square is just beginning. We believe if we act now, we can reimagine and revitalize Louisville’s urban core.

Our downtown can move away from looking like the bleak landscapes of SoBro...

sobro and downtown birdseye view

... and look more like the lush streets and squares of places like Savannah.

savannah skyline

Significantly increasing vegetation, starting with Founders Square, can help our downtown become healthier, more comfortable and more attractive for visitors and locals. With immediate activations to guide the design of the micro-forest, Founders Square will become the launch pad for a new vision of health for our urban environments.

If you would like to know more or get involved in these efforts, please contact Patrick Piuma (, Director of the Urban Design Studio at the University of Louisville.

Micro-climate research in the Trager MicroForest Project

You may have noticed some new sensors at Founders Square. These six devices are collecting weather information across the park to develop a baseline for patterns in temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, rain fall and more.

We are working with Dr. Gunter of UofL's Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences to collect the data now so we can see what effect the intense plantings will have on the micro-climate of the area over the next few years. The information below is real-time data from one of the six weather sensors.


We have installed two Chronolog stations in Founders Square, one at the southwest corner near Armory and Muhammad Ali Blvd, and a second at the northeast corner. These stations allow us to produce crowd-sourced time lapses of the progress of the Trager MicroForest Project that will monitor changes over time.