With Keeneland's spring meet now in the books, most Kentuckians are turning their attention to Louisville and this weekend's Kentucky Derby. But, Lexington leaders are also thinking about a major horse racing event that will take place this fall.
Lexington's Keeneland Racecourse will host the Breeders Cup Championships in October. In an effort to make the city look its best, officials are making plans for sizeable landscaping upgrades throughout the community. Council members received an update on the plans last week. Susan Plueger, director of the Division of Environmental Services, says most of the new vegetation will not be planted until the fall. "A lot of the less hardy variety may need to go in in September so there will be a big push at that time,” said Plueger. “We will have to water over the summer anything that we install. That's a difficult task to keep up with."
Plueger says the new plantings include trees, shrubs, grass, perennials, and annuals. Many of the beautification planters will be found at intersections around Lexington.
Keep Lexington Beautiful's Jim Pendergest says the city appropriates just over $11,000 to support their program. "When you compare that with the value of what Keep Lexington Beautiful brought to the community, it's about a $107,000. So it's a pretty nice return on the city investment in it," said Pendergest.
Plueger, meanwhile, says the cost of the landscaping upgrades could amount to $500,000. The funding will come from both government and private sources.