The creation of a waterfront park in downtown Lexington could also improve water quality in Town Branch Creek. There are plans to resurrect the subterranean stream, which runs beneath the downtown area, and create a park. Landscape architect Kate Orff says a park’s vegetation would remove contaminants from the creek.
“The water moving through the soil into the city’s system of the pipes, that water going through a vegetated surface is cleaner. The roots themselves and the filtration through the soil begins to get some of that contaminants and particulates out of the water. So, it’s really a landscape strategy to clean the Town Branch watershed,” said Orff.
The proposal has the Town Branch resurfacing at various locations in downtown Lexington. Orff says it might one day also mean recreational activities tied to the creek.
“The idea is the aspiration is there, that you can have an urban water body that is cleaner long term and creates these recreational opportunities and sort of help generate new habitats, natural habitats in addition to parks and open spaces right there in the center of Lexington,” added Orff.
There is no timeline yet on when a Town Branch Creek could be resurrected and water front park created. There are also efforts underway to extend the Town Branch Trail into Lexington’s downtown.