A once-neglected, weed-infested greenway winding through the heart of Lexington's McConnell's Trace neighborhood reopened Thursday as a restored walking path, with native plants and flower beds.
"It was an eyesore," said D.G. Gridley, chairwoman of the neighborhood greenway committee, which has worked on the project for four years.
The 1,500-foot mulched path — planted with almost 300 trees on either side, including 100 burr oaks — was opened at a ribbon-cutting ceremony with neighborhood association officers, residents, Mayor Jim Gray and Urban County Council member Tom Blues.
The project was designed to improve water quality by eliminating erosion and toxic runoff from lawns with an underground drainage system that allows storm water runoff to soak into the ground instead of carrying pollutants into Elkhorn Creek.
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Other improvements include native stone benches along the path and beds planted with native flowers. The path also provides neighbors with easy access to the nearby Town Branch Trail. "We're tickled to death. It's so beautiful, and it's going to improve property values of houses along the greenway," said Barbara Stucker, neighborhood president.
The $130,000 restoration project was financed with grants from the Lexington Council of Garden Clubs and the city's water quality management fee.