Mayor Jim Gray, Council-member Tom Blues and members of the McConnell’s Trace Homeowners Association cut a ribbon Thursday to officially open the McConnell’s Trace Greenway.
“Congratulations to these neighbors, who worked hard to make the restoration of this greenway happen,” Gray said. “The new greenway walking path is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise and have fun.”
Council-member Tom Blues said he hopes the McConnell’s Trace Greenway will be a model for other neighborhoods. “This beautifully restored greenway is a product of the neighborhood’s investment of time and effort, plus professional expertise from the city and a local environmental and engineering consultant, EcoGro,” he said. “The neighborhood now has a recovered natural space, a place of passive recreation and environmental education, an environmental and aesthetic triumph.”
D.G. Gridley, a member of the McConnell’s Trace Neighborhood Association, said the greenway is a source of pride for the neighborhood. "Property values, water quality, access to Town Branch Trail, and the looks of the McConnell’s Trace Greenway have all been improved thanks to the city funding the work done by Russ Turpin and others at EcoGro,” Gridley said. “One other thing has been improved: our attitude. We can now look at this greenway as a source of pride, hope, and enjoyment as it continues to grow and increase in beauty into the future.”
Before the restoration project, the city says the 1,500-foot greenway that runs between McConnell’s Trace and Long Branch Drive had suffered serious erosion, which pollutes creeks and streams, and was littered with construction debris. In addition, the greenway had become overgrown with invasive plants.
Keith Lovan, a city engineer who worked with contractors on the project, said the $130,000 restoration project included a new, mulched walking path. They also replaced invasive plants with native plants, lined the tributary to Town Branch Creek, which runs along the path, with native stone and added native stone benches along the path. The city has installed flower beds, filled with wildflowers, and planted approximately 300 trees, including 100 bur oaks. There is now a subsurface drainage system that allows surface run-off to quickly sink into the ground.
The greenway property was donated to the city by Dennis Anderson, who developed McConnell’s Trace Subdivision, in 2002.
Lexington’s greenway program started in1998 to protect streams and waterways.