Health & Medicine

Fruit trees provide healthy snacks along Legacy Trail

Volunteers Janet Howard, left, and Eileen Langer weeded a peach tree on the Legacy Trail behind the North Lexington YMCA.
Volunteers Janet Howard, left, and Eileen Langer weeded a peach tree on the Legacy Trail behind the North Lexington YMCA. Herald-Leader

Fruit trees planted along Lexington's Legacy Trail will offer a healthy snack to those who exercise along its path or at the North Lexington YMCA.

Trees with apples, peaches, pears and plums are available for the picking, and those who planted them are encouraging folks to enjoy them.

The trees are the Y's response to the social condition of the lack of fresh produce in the area and to promote healthier living, said David Elsen, executive director of the High Street Y."The concept is to bring fresh fruit into a food desert, where fresh fruits are not accessible," he said. "This is really a miracle."

Elsen and Bill Henkel of Henkel and Denmark landscaping came up with the idea of planting the trees along the trail. The duo partnered to beautify the entrance of Legacy Trail and to benefit the area.

"Why not plant an orchard instead of oak trees?" Elsen asked.

The trees, planted by volunteers two years ago, are now nearly 6 feet tall.

Y member Barbara Sledd is a member of the group that has tended the trees.

"If it weren't for the Y fitness program, we wouldn't be able to this," Sledd said of the gardening work being done.

Area residents are welcome to pick fruit, and any fruit not harvested will be picked by volunteers and donated to local food banks.

This is the first year that the trees have had fruit. Elsen said he hopes that next year will be even more bountiful.

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