is Town Branch Trail?
Town Branch Trail is a proposed greenway and trail, or linear park,
that will begin in downtown Lexington, following the Town Branch Creek
(where possible) as it flows west. The Town Branch Trail will link downtown
to a variety of recreational, historic and environmental resources;
provide alternate transportation routes from neighborhoods to downtown;
and improve the habitat and water quality of this historic stream, along
the banks of which the city of Lexington was founded. Download
and print our welcome brochure (1.5m pdf) that introduces Town Branch
Trail, offers a basic map of the trail, and gives a mail-in membership
and charitable giving form.
Disappearance of Town Branch
by Zina Merkin, November
Many mid-western cities are laid out on a grid oriented to the four principal
directions. Lexington's grid, and its designations of North Limestone
and East Main Street are curiously askew from those compass directions.
The city originally was oriented along the banks of the Middle Fork of
the Elkhorn, also known as Town Fork or Town Branch. But this stream along
which the town initially was laid out is now nowhere to be seen. This
paper sets out to track the vanishing of Town Branch, the reasons for
its disappearance, and its influence on the development of the city of
Lexington, linking this particular history with issues in the settlement
and development of the United States in general.
While the stream in the earliest years may have been a pretty little creek,
it quickly took on an urban character. Water supply was derived from springs,
and later, wells, while the creek supported early industry. Tracking the
fortunes of Town Branch offers an interesting window on the development
of various kinds of urban infrastructure, and a reflection of Lexington's
growth, its changing economic base, and local effects of landscape changes
occurring on a national level.
Click this link to open
the "The Disappearance of Town Branch" in PDF format (100 kilobytes).
Constructing the Vision....Connecting the Dots
The following report
summarizes a joint proposal for the future design and development of the
Town Branch Greenway in Lexington, Kentucky. Its content includes an analysis
of existing conditions, opportunities and constraints identified, issues
and concerns raised in public discussions, as well as design proposals
and land-use recommendations.
This study was
a planned collaborative effort between the Department of Landscape Architecture
at the University of Kentucky and Friends of the Parks of Fayette County,
Inc (the latter acted as the lead organization). Much information, support,
and assistance for this project was provided by the Lexington-Fayette
Urban County Government. Funding for the charrette was awarded to the
Friends of the Parks by the Kodak American Greenways Program. Several
design professionals from the local community also volunteered their
time and effort during the two-day charrette that took place in mid-February
this link to visit the UK Landscape Architecture's Town Branch Greenway
Town Branch Environment:
An Initial Evaluation
In 2001, the Environmental
Quality Committee of Town Branch Trail collected information about the
condition of the environment of Town Branch. Our findings and conclusions
are presented in an 18-page illustrated report: "The Town Branch
Environment: An Initial Evaluation." Among the report's recommendations
are trash cleanup, extensive streamside zones of native trees and other
plants, public education, partnerships with other environmental organizations,
and technical consultations on stream morphology and water quality issues.
Click this link to open the "The Town Branch
Environment" in PDF format (2.4 megabytes).
is a Greenway?
are corridors of protected open space managed for conservation and recreation
purposes. Greenways often follow natural land or water features, and link
nature reserves, parks, cultural features and historic sites with each
other and with populated areas. Greenways can be publicly or privately
owned and some are the result of public/private partnerships. Trails are
paths used for walking, bicycling, horseback riding or other forms of
recreation or transportation. Some greenways include trails while others
-from the Trails and Greenways Clearinghouse www.trailsandgreenways.org