May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 43

Town Branch Commons reimagined Lexington,
Kentucky's downtown pedestrian
infrastructure to serve as the centerpiece
of a citywide park system.
communities often lack access to
well-maintained parks and green
spaces. This renewed awareness
has sparked a broader conversation
about the need for the equitable
distribution of parks and recreation
spaces.
A good illustration of equitable
design is Town Branch Commons,
which brought new life to Lexington's
downtown pedestrian infrastructure
and serves as the centerpiece
of a citywide park system for
the entire community. Tracing the
route of the city's original water
source,
this
transformative
trail,
greenway and park system weaves
2.5 miles of green infrastructure
and multimodal transit
through
Lexington's urban core, extending
into the rural communities bordering
Fayette County, and providing
access to areas that were previously
out of reach for many residents.
The Chattahoochee Riverlands
Greenway Study is another excellent
example of keeping equity
and accessibility top of mind when
planning a public space. The project
not only focuses on revitalizing
a significant natural resource, but
also aims to ensure it benefits the
entire community. Its central goal
is to establish a new, positive identity
for a 125-mile stretch of the river
that encompasses 19 cities and seven
counties. Through a proposed
continuous multimodal trail that
extends from Buford Dam to Chattahoochee
Bend State Park, the
planning study envisions a safe and
connective corridor that is accessible
to people of all backgrounds,
ages and abilities.
The growing trend of programs
aimed at expanding access to
water-based activities in communities
traditionally
less
toward
inclusivity
park and recreation
engaged
with them is another more recent
stride
in
the
arena. The
Tennessee Riverline's Paddlesports
Leadership Academy, for example,
places a significant focus on
nurturing leaders from historically
underserved communities. The
central objective of this program
is to establish an inclusive outdoor
environment
fronts
that actively conexclusion
and dismantles
access barriers. By empowering
individuals from underrepresented
backgrounds to become leaders in
water-based activities, these initiatives
not only enrich the lives of
participants, but also contribute to
a more equitable and diverse outdoor
recreation landscape.
Ultimately, the COVID-19 pandemic
has served as a wakeup call,
underscoring the vital importance
of having easily accessible parks and
interconnected trail systems in close
proximity to neighborhoods. When
urban
planning
prioritizes
these
aspects, it goes beyond enhancing
community well-being and accommodating
the growing demand for
outdoor recreation - it responds to
the fundamental human need to nurture
social connections. In a perfect
world, the implementation of such
initiatives holds the promise of cultivating
communities that are not only
more robust, interconnected and inclusive,
but also are better prepared
to confront other unforeseen challenges
that may arise in the future.
SEE ALSO: A Park Planner's Perspective
on the COVID-19 Pandemic,
Clement Lau, AICP, DPPD, Parks &
Recreation, May 2020, Vol. 55, Iss. 5,
tinyurl.com/yrpjvk4e; Gathering Place: A
Park for Everyone, Mark Trieglaff, Parks
& Recreation, March 2021, Vol. 56, Iss.
3, tinyurl.com/55ek3tjc.
John Lavender is Senior Landscape
Architect and Project Executive at
Gresham Smith (john.lavender@
greshamsmith.com).
PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G | MAY 2 0 2 4 | Parks & Recreation
43
PHOTO COURTESY OF TY COLE
http://tinyurl.com/yrpjvk4e http://tinyurl.com/55ek3tjc

May 2024 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2024 - Parks & Recreation

May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 1
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 2
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 3
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 4
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 5
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 6
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 7
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 8
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 9
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May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 13
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May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 16
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May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 18
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 19
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 20
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 21
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 22
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 23
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 24
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 25
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May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 50
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May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 53
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 54
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 55
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 56
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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