A private fundraising campaign for a linear park through downtown Lexington is set to kick into high gear. The city's council has authorized Blue Grass Community Foundation to move forward with a $50 million effort to support the 2-mile-long project.
Downtown Development Authority President Jeff Fugate says the philanthropic campaign is more like a marathon than a sprint, “Gonna require multiple large donors. It’s not a simple throw a bake sale situation. This is definitely gonna take a sophisticated effort and a long-term effort to raise the type of funds needed to put together this community project."
Fugate says it’s likely to be a phased-in project over the next ten years or so. “Kind of like a stack of pancakes. The first pancake are the streets, the roads, the bike paths, the street scaping. The second pancake are improvements to the existing parks, and then the third pancake are new parks,” explained Fugate.
The system of parks is proposed to run along the path of the Town Branch waterway through the heart of downtown Lexington. Fugate says, while infrastructure work on Town Branch Commons could begin within a few years, completion of the winding park may be a decade away. Local officials are also holding out hope for a federal grant to the tune of 13 million dollars.