Lexington Greenspace Trust Explores New Revenue Avenues and Centralized Management for Invasive Plants

By Paul Oliva, The Lexington Times

LEXINGTON, Ky. — In a move that could significantly impact the future of public spaces in Lexington, the Greenspace Trust is considering new avenues for revenue and a centralized approach to managing invasive plant species in the county. The Trust met on Wednesday to discuss these and other matters, including a greenways management master plan for the city.

Seeking New Revenue Sources

One of the most notable developments from the meeting was the Trust’s decision to empower its Treasurer to explore additional sources of revenue. Historically, the Trust has relied on an annual $15,000 grant from the city government. However, the Trust is now looking to leverage its nonprofit status to tap into grants, foundation work, and other funding opportunities.

“This is a significant shift,” said Nachie Braga, a local environmentalist and urban designer. “Lexington has historically not benefited from the kind of grants and foundation work that have funded parks systems in places like Cincinnati.”

Centralized Management for Invasive Plants

The meeting also touched on the growing concern about invasive plant species in Fayette County. There is a movement toward centralized management to tackle this issue more effectively. This initiative could be a game-changer for local ecosystems, as invasive species often outcompete native plants, leading to a loss of biodiversity.

Greenways Management Master Plan

Lord Aeck Sargeant, a design and planning firm, has been selected via a Request for Proposal (RFP) to develop a greenways management master plan for Lexington. While the details are yet to be disclosed, local environmental groups are keen to monitor the plan’s development closely.

Although the Greenspace Trust has a strategic plan for 2023-2025, it remains very much a draft, according to Braga. The plan of work, which could outline the Trust’s priorities and projects for the coming years, is of particular interest to local stakeholders.

Wildflowers in bloom at greenspace near Eureka Springs Dr. (LFUCG Greenspace Trust)

The Greenspace Trust’s recent meeting has set the stage for potentially transformative changes in how Lexington manages its public spaces. With new revenue streams, a centralized approach to invasive species, and a forthcoming greenways management plan, the Trust is poised to make a lasting impact on the community.

For more information on the Greenspace Trust and its initiatives, visit their website or attend their next public meeting scheduled for October 18, 2023, at Coldstream at 3:00 PM.

Top photo: Signage at near Dantzler Drive greenspace details flowering trees. (LFUCG Greenspace Trust)

This article is based on the Greenspace Trust’s meeting agenda and summary, as well as additional insights provided by Nachie Braga from Geomancer Permaculture’s Patreon subscriber updates.