Let’s start with the obvious – I adore Lexington. In fact, in my moments of rosy optimism, I envision that we could all grin from ear to ear like the Whos in Whoville (before the Grinch of course). But I digress….
I grew up downtown on South Upper Street, in a home that my parents still live in. Though I went away for college, I knew in my heart that I wanted to get back to Lexington, and I was thrilled when I was able to return in the summer of 2004.
But what is it that makes this place so appealing? Why is it so homey, and even more so, why do I feel so compelled to nurture this place and nudge it towards further greatness?
Lexington is a big small town, and as such, it fosters a sense of community and belonging that is hard to come by in metropolitan areas. We enjoy the conveniences of an urban setting with varied resources within low-density development surrounded by stunning farmland. We have both rich traditions borrowed from the south, and a population that values advancement thanks in large part to the influence of Transy and UK.
Like most people, we tend to be resistant to change, and yet, we like to imagine the possibilities. While it may be popular to gripe and complain about “the city,” one of the best things about our town is the ability of the citizenry to impact true change.
My particular passion is environmental stewardship. Since I returned to Lexington, I’ve been delighted to see multiple changes on this front. Here are just some of my favorites:
- The thriving bike community has successfully lobbied for bike lanes on major roads and hosts a plethora of events and gatherings throughout the year.
- Individuals, noting the distinct lack of protection for those riding LexTran’s buses, spearheaded an initiative called Art-in-Motion that has built two innovative bus shelters that combine practicality with public art (and more are scheduled to come).
- As concern grew over the expanding growth of our city, quickly engulfing the iconic greenspace of our farmlands, the Fayette Alliance was formed and became a trusted and effective advocate for the protection of our land and sustainable growth.
- Noting the concurrent need for fresh food in downtown neighborhoods and a rising interest in community and children’s gardening, Seedleaf, the nonprofit for which I work, began partnering with existing groups to nourish the community by growing, cooking and sharing food through the creation of ten new gardens.
But for all its successes, Lexington still needs the help of all of its citizens. Join ProgressLex, and together, we can work to better our fair city, finding our unique passions for this great place—- its rich soils, its gentle hills, its hidden greenspaces, and its intriguing history. We must work together to craft Lexington’s glorious future, and I believe that with ProgressLex, our efforts will be rewarded with the sweetness of success.