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Tobits Trace at St. Raphael Episcopal Church

Tobit’s Trace is a green space behind St. Raphael Episcopal Church that has transitioned from an overgrown, neglected field to a natural stream conservation area including educational and contemplative spaces for the community. 

The stream that runs through the area is part of the Wolf Run watershed. Like many streams near populated areas, it became ecologically out of balance. Runoff from the St. Raphael parking lot and other factors had tipped the balance against native plants and wildlife and the health of the stream. This affected not only the area around the stream on the St. Raphael property, but also areas downstream and in small but real ways, the whole community and ultimately our planet.

St. Raphael Episcopal Church received two grants from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government/Wastewater Reserve to take on these issues. The project was also tied into the larger overall Friends of Wolfe Run Watershed grant endeavor for 2018.

The first phase of the project cleared out invasive plant material like honeysuckle and poison hemlock, replanted native flowering, fruit and nut bearing trees, shrubs, and plant materials, and improved the management of runoff to restore the stream bed. In addition, a walking trail through the area creates a community space for several different educational and meditative experiences.

Physical trail markers correspond to web-based content organized into tracks. The Stormwater Track explains the water cycle and the importance of stream conservation. The Stations of the Cross Track is a traditional liturgical devotion commemorating the last day of Jesus’ life. Other Tracks are being developed.

You are invited to walk the Tobit’s Trace trail. Please use caution and be aware that the trail carries risks similar to walking through other types of natural areas, such as tripping, falling, twisting an ankle, poison ivy, mosquito bites, ticks, etc.

To take advantage of the educational trail material currently available. please click on the “Explore Tobit’s Trace Tracks” button below.

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