Town Branch Park exceeds fundraising goal


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Town Branch Park today announced it has exceeded its year-end fund-raising goal as it completed Phase I of the project.

Town Branch Park has raised more than $12.2 million, which propelled it past the $12 million goal.

“It is wonderful to see families – some with multigenerational roots in Lexington and some relatively new to our community – come together to make this a better place to live, work, play and connect,” said Allison Lankford, executive director of Town Branch Park.  “Families across Lexington realize the importance of this park and want to be a part of it. And, their generous donations have fueled our efforts to move into the final design phase.” 

Phase I accomplishments also included receiving 501(c)3 nonprofit designation, which established it as Lexington’s first and only park conservancy; finishing environmental assessments, site survey, and geotechnical studies; and completing the Inclusion Report to help ensure the park is welcoming and inclusive to all.

End-of-year commitments, which have just been finalized, totaled more than $1 million.

“I bought my office on Main Street 35 years ago,” said Bill Justice, owner of Justice Real Estate, who made one of the year-end donations. “The transformation of downtown since then is exciting. Town Branch Park will be its centerpiece. Cities with downtown parks throughout the United States are thriving and so will Lexington.

“Lexington has been good to me, and I want to share in something special for generations to come.”

Bob Rouse of the Rouse Family Foundation, which also made a year-end donation, said: “This park is going to be an integral part of the growth of downtown. The whole family grew up here and is raising children here. It’s an unbelievable place to raise a family, and downtown is a huge part of it. This is a wonderful project and will help get Lexington’s downtown where it needs to be.”

The park has an overall goal of $31 million in private funds to create more than 9 acres of signature downtown park. It also will function as the trailhead connecting 22-miles of biking/walking trails leading from downtown to Lexington’s iconic rural landscape.

 Town Branch Park, led by civic leaders and philanthropists, is working to transform acres of parking in the Manchester Parking Lot behind Rupp Arena into an inviting, dynamic, fun, and uncommonly beautiful green space that will reflect the culture and spirit of Lexington. The Park will be funded, programmed and maintained through private donations and grants.