While in Georgetown to visit the Japanese Garden, I also took the fam out to the Elkhorn Creek Greenway. I planned, designed, and oversaw construction of this park in the early 1990s while I was the planning direction of the Georgetown-Scott County Planning Commission.
Inspired by a line in Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” -“A Kentuckian walking the vale of the Elkhorn in my deer-skin leggings…”- I led a diverse, community-based team in crafting the three-mile trail.
The Greenway has many diverse land conditions that required on-site expertise from environmentalists, soil scientists, and engineering and construction professionals. The corridor also suffered from degradation from farming practices, specially cattle drinking from the Creek were causing stream bank erosion. In an a bold move supported by many partners – including land owners along the way – the Greenway corridor was fenced to prevent cattle from going into the Creek. To replace the access to water, new water lines were laid to new drinking stations. The result was a dramatic improvement in the quality of the Creek banks as well as overall water quality.
The cows are gone now, and the fences have been removed, which has created a wonderful wide-open countryside experience.
The trail links an elementary school and one of the County’s most significant historic areas, Great Crossing. This area along the Creek was the route of a buffalo track, traces of which can still be seen in the area. I designed a trailhead with parking, creek access, and interpretive signage at this location.
The Greenway is used by elementary school students to study environmental conditions along the Creek, which they share with students in Tahara-Cho Japan, Georgetown’s Sister City.
It’s really worth a visit, if I do say so myself.
That’s a big turtle sunning himself on the branch in the creek.