Charles Young Park

Charles Young Park and Community Center are located in the East End neighborhood of downtown Lexington. The community center contains a gym and is located on the edge of the park facing Third St. The park is mostly open green space with a paved multi-use ball court and playground area.

Splash! at Charles Young Park

Splash! will be a nature-inspired water play zone within Charles Young Park. It is also envisioned as a connector between the Charles Young Park playground and the Town Branch Commons trail. There will be direct access from the park and community center to the city’s trail network. It will include water-based nature play features, including a recirculating splash pad whose design is intended to pull from the natural landscapes of Kentucky. 

Charles Young Park Splash! Design

Steps are being taken to open access to the park and create a welcoming space while preserving the park’s historic features. Flexible space for pop-up community programming is key to the design. Charles Young Park is on the National Register of Historic Places and designs for Splash! will be complementary. Intentions are to preserve as much open green space as possible. The play space will be universally designed, safe for a wide variety of age groups, and offer amenities for comfort for caregivers and those stopping in off the trail. Splash! is to be inviting to all users. The history of Charles Young Park and Colonel Charles Young, who the park is named after, is to be inspirations for designs and interpretive signage, public art or other features to celebrate their cultural significance. 
Splash! recently completed the design and community input phase. The final design responds to input from the community received by residents, including kids and various community stakeholders.

Project plan & community packet

Share your stories and feedback

We want to hear from you! Text "CY" to (859) 407-6024 to share your stories and ideas for the park!


  • Concept Development – Summer 2021
    Feedback received from Charles Young Advisory Board, the William Wells Brown Neighborhood Association, William Wells Brown students and the Colonel Club throughout the concept development phase.
  • Design Consultants on board – August 2021
  • Design Phase – Kickoff Sept. 24, 2021
  • Community Meeting #1 – Held Oct. 19, 2021
  • Focus group input sessions – Held October– December 2022
  • Community Meeting #2 – Held Jan. 20, 2022
  • Design completed – February 2022
  • Bid advertisement – March 2022
  • Construction expected starting spring 2022 
  • Ribbon-cutting – Early 2023


The Splash! project at Charles Young Park is made possible by a $900,000 grant from Blue Grass Community Foundation. Support comes from the following charitable donors and BGCF fundholders: Blue Grass Community Foundation, Community Ventures, J.M. Smucker Co., James Monroe Homes, James and Martha Monroe Charitable Fund at BGCF and Knight Foundation Donor Advised Charitable Fund at BGCF. Splash! also received a grant from the American Water Charitable Foundation’s Building Better Communities Grant, administered by the National Recreation and Park Association, for $250,000.

Charles Young Community Center

Charles Young Community Center is a multi-use community center housing many programs including the Police Activities League, youth and teen activities and senior activities. The center also houses a United Way of the Bluegrass Waypoint Center and WORK–Lexington. A basketball court and stage are located inside the center on the back portion nearest to the playground.

Center hours:  
Open year-round
Monday, Wednesday, Friday:  9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday:  1 – 8:30 p.m.