A group raising money for the proposed downtown 10-acre Town Branch Park has released a new video to give the public an idea of what the Central Park-like space will look like.
The fly-over video shows details of the SCAPE-designed park adjacent to Rupp Arena between High and Main streets. Some of the proposed elements of the park include a walk-in water play area, a great lawn for concerts and a wooded children's play area. The Wrigley Media three-minute video was released last month in conjunction with a new community-wide survey to get public input on programming and activities in the park.
“For this to truly become downtown’s living room, the park must be designed, programmed and operated based on the needs and hopes of all segments of the community,” said Allison Lankford, executive director of the Town Branch Fund. “This survey is our first community-wide effort to listen and learn from all of Lexington about what makes a space welcoming and engaging.”
The survey can be found on the web site at www.townbranchpark.org and at all Lexington Public Libraries. Surveys must be completed by June 15.
The Town Branch Fund is trying to raise nearly $22 million to build the park and has so far announced more then $6 million in donations. Most recently it announced a $1 million donation from the E.E. Murry Family Foundation.
The fund also recently named a group called Town Branch Park Partners to ensure the proposed park is not only accessible but inclusive to all segments of Lexington's population.
Not everyone uses Lexington's parks and public spaces, recent surveys have found.
When Gehl Studio conducted a public space and public use survey in 2015, it found less than 5 percent of children in Lexington spent time downtown. Other community-wide public engagement survey such as On the Table also found similar concerns that not all the city's public spaces were inclusive and used by all.
Survey questions will cover how different people define and experience inclusion in public spaces and how Lexington residents use public spaces. The survey also allows people to give their own ideas of how Town Branch Park could be more inclusive.
A timeline for when construction on the proposed park has not been set. Fundraising will likely take up to three years, organizers have said. A proposed expansion of the Lexington Convention Center, which is set to start this summer and will take between 18 and 24 months to complete, will need to be finished first before park construction can begin.