LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 12, 208) — Town Branch Fund today announced a $1 million donation from the E.E. Murry Family Foundation for Town Branch Park.
The foundation, which was started by E.E. “Manny” Murry in 1974, is now managed by his grandson, Wes Murry.
The E.E. Murry Family Foundation donation follows the announcement last year of $5 million in commitments raised by the Town Branch Fund advisory board.
Town Branch Fund, established at Blue Grass Community Foundation to raise funds and oversee the design and operational plan for the park, set a fund-raising target of $31 million for the park. Private donations, which complement the city’s public investment of the land, will allow the fund to ﬁnalize the design and engineering as well as construct the park.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Wes Murry came to Kentucky in 2011. He is a founding partner of Castle & Key Distillery. His wife, Anne, who is originally from Murray, Ky., has called Lexington home since 2014 and is a dentist. They have two small children.
“My grandfather believed it was his duty and responsibility to be more than just a participant in his community. He desired to make lasting impacts – and did,” Wes Murry said. “I also believe in that philosophy. We seek out unique opportunities that have the stated purpose of permanently altering the trajectory of a need or cause.
“When presented with the opportunity to be involved with Town Branch Park, my family and I viewed it as a no-brainer. Town Branch Park will create a better quality of life and improved health for Lexingtonians. Access to unique and thoughtfully-designed recreational spaces open the door for curated educational opportunities for children of all ages and backgrounds. Access to significant green space improves a community’s quality of life and environment. We are proud to be involved and, on a personal note, can’t wait to visit the park with our kids.”
The future park’s Creek Walk, which will be close to the children’s area and include educational programming, will be called the Murry Family Creek Walk.
“The Murrys’ generosity and commitment to Lexington will bring us one step closer to the goal of creating a world-class community gathering space for residents and visitors to enjoy active and restful green spaces in the heart of Lexington,” said Allison Lankford, executive director of Town Branch Fund.
The 10-acre park will include children’s play areas, free performances, art installations, educational programs, a dog park, and local food and beverages alongside the expanded and interactive water features inspired by the historic Town Branch Creek, where Lexington was founded.
The park is one of two key components of Town Branch Commons. The other is the new section of the Town Branch Trail — a 3.2-mile connection through the heart of downtown Lexington.
The trail will connect at Town Branch Park to 23 miles of protected bike and pedestrian paths, joining the Legacy Trail and the existing Town Branch Trail to connect the urban core to Central Kentucky’s iconic countryside. The trail extension is fully funded through $40 million in federal, state and city grants. The city is leading the trail portion of the project with construction scheduled to begin this year.