Home » Town Branch announces group of Lexingtonians to lead inclusive park design

Town Branch announces group of Lexingtonians to lead inclusive park design

Town Branch Park in downtown Lexington, Ky. (Artist's rendering)
Town Branch Park in downtown Lexington, Ky. (Artist’s rendering)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 24, 2018) — The Town Branch Fund Board of Advisors today announced the formation of Town Branch Park Partners, a community group tasked with ensuring that inclusion and access are integral to the design, programming and operations of Town Branch Park.

The partners are a diverse group of Lexingtonians who serve and reflect the wider community. They will play an important role to ensure the 10-acre park will connect not just place, but people. The park will serve as a trailhead for 22 miles of uninterrupted bike and pedestrian trail systems that link the urban core to Lexington’s iconic countryside. The park will also connect people by providing a welcoming, engaging space for residents of all ages and backgrounds to interact with each other and meet new people.

“We want this to be the people’s park,” said Ann Bakhaus, chair of the board of advisors. “This is an important step to ensure that every segment of our community feels a sense of belonging at the park.”

Town Branch Park Partners will focus on ensuring a meaningful and thoughtful engagement process that prioritizes the aspirations and insights of Lexingtonians, while at the same time capturing the true character of the city.

Together, the group will explore and review strategies related to equity-based placemaking and engage local residents to create a document of collective recommendations for designing, programming and operating an inclusive and accessible Town Branch Park.

The partners were selected for their complementary professional expertise. They are:

• Anna Baskin, representative, Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council
• Sgt. R.G. Berry, Lexington Police Department
• James Brown, council member, LFUCG
• Carrie Butler, general manager, LexTran
• Dr. Mary Lynne Capilouto, UK/Town Branch Fund Board of Advisors
• Juan Castro, managing partner, JCC Consulting Group
• Monica Conrad, director, LFUCG Parks and Recreation
• Walt Gafield, president, Fayette County Neighborhood Council
• Sgt. Donnell Gordon, Lexington Police Department
• Linda Gorton, former Lexington Vice Mayor
• Laura Hatield, director, One Lexington
• Lisa Higgins-Hord, assistant vice president, UK Office of Community Engagement
• Jason Jones, advocacy/accessibility specialist, UK Human Development Institute
• Tresine Logsdon, curriculum coordinator for energy and sustainability, Fayette County Public Schools
• Rick McQuady, director, Lexington Affordable Housing Program
• Gary A. Means, executive director, Lexington Parking Authority
• Derek Paulsen, commissioner, Department of Planning, Preservation & Development, LFUCG; professor of public safety, EKU
• PG Peeples, president/CEO, Urban League of Lexington
• Lance Poston, director of LGBTQ Resources, University of Kentucky
• Mary Quinn Ramer, president, VisitLEX
• Malcolm Ratchford, executive director, Community Action Council
• Polly Ruddick, director, Ofice of Homelessness Prevention & Intervention, LFUCG
• Miranda Scully, district coordinator, Community and Families, Fayette County Public Schools
• Kristina Stambaugh, director of aging and disability services, LFUCG, Lexington Senior Center
• Terry Sweeney, president/CEO, Downtown Lexington Partnership
• Isabel Gereda Taylor, multicultural affairs coordinator, Global Lex, LFUCG
• Darryl Thompson, equity officer, Fayette County Public Schools
• Aldona Valicenti, chief information officer, LFUCG
• Nathan Zamarron, community arts director, LexArts

“The work of Town Branch Park Partners is vital to creating a park that is welcoming, safe and accessible to all,” said Allison Lankford, executive director of the Town Branch Fund. “Using their collective expertise and life experience, their work will help ensure that Town Branch Park is not only extraordinarily beautiful, but also contributes to the vitality of all of Lexington.”

Thanks to a grant from Blue Grass Community Foundation, the Town Branch Park Partners are pleased to be working with author and placemaker Jay Pitter on an equity-based placemaking process unpacking inclusive design, cultural heritage and social impact.

“I’m heartened that inclusive design and social planning have been deeply considered and prioritized in this process. This team has incredible vision; I hold them and their inclusive vision for the park in high regard,” Pitter said.

Everyone is encouraged to share ideas about how to make the park space one that welcomes and engages the entire community. Opportunities for the community to give input will be shared in the coming weeks.