160 E. Bell Court
Lexington KY 40508
Contact Information
Address 160 E. Bell Court
Lexington, KY 40508
Phone (859) 333-4786
Contact Name Van Meter Pettit
Web and Social Media
A view of the completed trail.
At A Glance
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer Keep up with our activities on Facebook, at Friends of Town Branch Trail, Lexington, KY ( ) .
Checks may be mailed to Town Branch Trail at 160 E. Bell Court, Lexington, KY 40508.
Or, for your convenience, give via Paypal on the Contribute link on our website,
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Mission Statement

Town Branch Trail, Inc. has the mission to
1) Promote, assist and conduct charitable, scientific, literary, historical or educational activities broadly related to improving social welfare and economic opportunity in the seven county Bluegrass region of Central Kentucky (Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Jessamine, Madison, Soctt and Woodford counties);
2) Advance, promote and foster tourism, recreation, historical preservation, and environmental protection and enhancement in the Bluegrass region;
3) Educate, inform and advise with regard to recreation, tourism, transportation,  natural resource management, environmental conservation, historical preservation, economic development, land use planning and such other issues consistent with the purposes stated herein;
4) Organize, promote, assist, plan, design, develop, construct and help maintain recreational areas and facilities related to greenways and trails in the Bluegrass region;
5) specifically focus on the vicinity of the Town Branch of the Elkhorn Creek, to promote, foster, assist, plan, design, develop, construct and help maintain the Town Branch Trail, (TBT), a proposed ‘shared-use’ greenway trail (paved route for pedestrians and bicyclists) that will connect Downtown Lexington with its world-famous rural landscape via area neighborhoods, parks, and historic sites as it follows the westward course of the historic waterway along whose banks Lexington was founded in 1779.

The trail is a significant component of Lexington’s Greenway Masterplan, Downtown Masterplan, Distillery District, and Newtown Pike Extension. Our organization sees TBT as a catalyst for the redevelopment of underutilized urban areas along our historic creek for the benefit of recreation, commuting, the environment, tourism, and economic development.
Background Statement
Town Branch Trail, Inc. began with Van Meter Pettit's vision for a facility in Lexington which could highlight its beauty, history and unique character, much like the San Antonio Riverwalk does for that city. Seeing in the Town Branch creek the potential to reveal Lexington's history, he approached Friends of the Parks of Fayette County, Inc., with a proposal to create a shared use greenway trail associated with Town Branch. This group helped write a grant for a community design charrette, after which several people joined with Mr. Pettit to create the 501(c)(3) group Town Branch Trail, Inc. in 2001.
With the charrette results in hand, efforts began to work with LFUCG to write grants for the TEA-21 program of the Federal Highway Administration. The 2 miles constructed to date, and the funded Phase III, have been supported through TEA-21 and various incarnations of that program. Other grants have funded environmental education exhibits and signage, and a KERA compliant DVD of 3 videos with lesson plans for middle school children covering important historical and environmental concepts using Town Branch as an example.
Town Branch Trail, Inc., has also worked tirelessly to keep the project in the public eye and to educate citizens and civic leaders about the benefits of the project. The group has involved diverse stakeholders, and worked collaboratively with various efforts involved in downtown planning in order in integrate the trail with other ongoing efforts, such as the Newtown Pike Extension, the Legacy Trail and the Distillery District. Currently, in addition to continuing to promote Town Branch Trail itself, TBT Inc. is working toward a broader network to extend trail connections into neighboring counties.
Impact Statement

Since 2001, Town Branch Trail, Inc. (TBT), a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, has advocated for this trail project -- writing grants, raising awareness, and developing support for the project within the community. The organization has also guided design decisions, and made sure the trail was integrated into Kentucky Transportation Cabinet projects which intersected its alignment.

Accomplishments: As a nonprofit partner with our local government, TBT had raised over $3 million in trail funds, $1 million in land donations, and had two miles of trail built by 2014. A third section of an additional mile was funded for design and construction, but awaits completion of a landowner’s project before the trail easement can be deeded and design initiated.

A five-mile feasibility study was completed in 2010. Through TBT’s efforts, the recently completed Oliver Lewis Way Bridge (Newtown Pike Extended) not only made room for the trail underneath but actually completed the trail link which connects the Rupp Arena area with the Distillery District. TBT also influenced the project for widening of New Circle Road, to include a wide underpass through which the trail will be able to cross under the limited access road.

TBT has produced environmental trail signs, classroom materials, and a 30-minute video to raise awareness of our rich history and our connection to our watershed. Many schools have used these materials and KET has broadcast the documentary numerous times.

TBT has received two environmental commission awards from the city and a 2009 Vision Award from Bluegrass Tomorrow.

Our advocacy work resulted in a grant from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, in late 2014, of $6.5 million dollars to fund design and construction of sections 4 and 5 of the trail, and design of section 6, which would take the trail to Oliver Lewis Bridge. More recently, through our advocacy the city has applied for and received a TIGER grant that includes the final Phase 6 construction funds for the trail in conjunction with a related project through the downtown core, Town Branch Commons. This will provide for a combined 8-mile system which will link up with the nearly completed Legacy Trail for a connected 20-mile system linking our world famous rural landscape with our historic urban core. In fall of 2015, a grant of $3.2 million was given to fund design of the Midland Ave. section of the Town Branch Commons, which will link Town Branch Trail to the Legacy Trail at Isaac Murphy Art Park.

Members of the Town Branch Board have participated in the advisory committee overseeing the design of trail sections 4,5 and 6 in 2015 and 2016. In spring of 2017, our board helped organize a public meeting where the design teams were able to present work-in-progress to the public and receive important feedback.

Goals: To link Town Branch Trail with a wider, regional trail network.

To begin an endowment in the next few years which will ensure maintenance of, and facilitate future improvements to, Town Branch Trail.
Needs Statement
Town Branch Trail, Inc. needs the financial and technical support to stay connected with our community and finish the urban planning and trail design for the full eight-mile greenway corridor. We are committed to an interactive and open dialogue with local citizens to build support and draw out the best ideas. This type of engagement, planning, and design takes time and money, commodities which have become more scarce even as our project has dramatically advanced.
1) We need to attract and engage more long-term volunteers. Our biggest need is someone with an accounting background. We also need a few key people to envision and carry out events which will bring visibility and excitement to the existing trail sections and fuel demand for completion of the trail.
2) We also need funds to build out our stone mile and furlong posts, our environmental education signage, and public art that has been designed for the trail corridor. Ideally the furlong posts will be a fundraising vehicle.
In the larger scope and longer term, Town Branch Trail, Inc. seeks to move beyond our specific trail project into a regional partnership of stakeholders to forge a community-supported trails consortium that addresses our regional demand for a comprehensive system of non-vehicular corridors connecting our towns and cities with our world-heritage landscape.
CEO/Executive Director Statement
Town Branch Trail, Inc. has accomplished a great deal over the last decade, with few resources beyond the efforts of a dedicated few volunteers. We have always been a working board of committed volunteers, moving swiftly and taking action, keeping expenses to a minimum while maximizing our impact. We have hundreds of followers on FACEBOOK and have published many columns in the Herald-Leader, Business Lexington, and ACE as well as producing an award-winning documentary for KET that is broadcast multiple times a year statewide. Our diverse and balanced expertise have helped us attract $6.5 million in trail funds from the state in 2014.  We welcome additional committed individuals to make this transformational community project a reality for posterity.
Board Chair Statement We work as an all-volunteer board that is focused on getting the trail designed and constructed through the city.  We are also focused on growing the non-profit into a larger regional entity that can sustain professional staff to take the goals to a higher level.
Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Environment / Environmental Education
Tertiary Organization Category Recreation & Sports / Physical Fitness/Community Recreational Facilities
Geographic Areas Served
Fayette County
Central Kentucky
Town Branch Trail, Inc. primarily serves Fayette County at this time, but the development of this trail, as part of a network of trails, will have a positive impact in the greater Bluegrass Region.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Van Meter Pettit
Company Affiliation VMP Architect
Term Jan 2016 to Dec 2017
Board Members
Mr. Daniel DurickKeeneland Association, Inc.Voting
Mr. Dave ElbonCommunity VolunteerVoting
Mr. Martin MarchaterreAmec Foster WheelerVoting
Ms. Zina MerkinCommunity VolunteerVoting
Mr. Van Meter PettitVMP ArchitectVoting
Mr. Boyd ShearerOutrageGIS MappingVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity. Add number
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 80%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Board Co-Chair
Board CoChair Ms. Zina R. Merkin
Company Affiliation none
Term Jan 2016 to Dec 2017
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director All Volunteer
Term Start Mar 2001
Experience We have no Executive Director at this time
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 6
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 0%
Management Reports to Board? N/A
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 0
Unspecified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation No
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
NonManagement Formal Evaluation N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
CEO Comments As a very small organization, we have not formalized many policies and procedures. Nevertheless, I believe we comply with non-discrimination laws and operate with the highest of ethics.
TBT, Inc. works to promote the funding and construction of the trail, and to raise awareness of the project throughout the community. The group has developed a fund raising program of stone benches and stone furlong posts along the trail, for people to sponsor. They have actively assisted LFUCG in writing grants for Federal Highway funding, such as TEA-21 and SAFE-TEA as well as sought partnerships with public and private entities, such as the Distillery District, to bring the trail to fruition.
Importantly, the board of TBT, Inc. keeps abreast of transportation and land development projects which could affect the trail, and strives to find synergies with those projects. Having the trail integrated in the widening of New Circle Road is a recent example. Board members also serve on the design advisory committee providing input to the firms hired to design sections 4, 5 and 6.
Budget 1000.00
Category Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Transportation Systems
Population Served General/Unspecified
TBT, Inc. designed a series of environmental education signs, to be installed along the trail as it is developed. Four signs have been fabricated and installed. Ten more designs exist, awaiting both trail construction and funding. The content of the brochures is available to download as a brochure, and display boards are available for exhibits, lectures, etc.
TBT also commissioned a video which uses Town Branch and its history to teach KERA compliant middle school level history and environment content.
We have applied for grant funds to design and construct environmental education signage for the proposed trail overlook at the former LFUCG landfill, taking advantage of the views of the urban metabolism/urban infrastructure visible from the site.
Budget 18000
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? No
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $4,000.00
Projected Expenses $3,000.00
Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$50$1,943$451
Administration Expense$35$24$40
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses7.591.505.21
Program Expense/Total Expenses37%99%92%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$3,932$4,067$3,925
Current Assets$3,932$4,067$3,925
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$3,932$4,067--
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Campaign Purpose We anticipate creating a branch of the organization focused on maintaining and enriching trail sections that have been constructed. We also anticipate moving from advocating construction of this trail to linking this trail to a regional network of trails.
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Registration Yes
CEO Comments It has been extremely encouraging to find Lexington embracing the Town Branch Creek as a centerpiece for large scale future development in the Downtown and the Distillery District.  We have stretched our capacity of volunteers to the limit and need to catalyze the current progress into a larger scope and professionally staffed organization.  This will be very challenging, but ultimately it must be done to develop the full-time regional advocacy.
Foundation Staff Comments This organization files the 990N, which contains no financial information, Financial information was provided by the organization, Numbers are unaudited.
Address 160 E. Bell Court
Lexington, KY 40508
Primary Phone 859 333-4786
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director All Volunteer
Board Chair Mr. Van Meter Pettit
Board Chair Company Affiliation VMP Architect