Covington and Neighbors Work to Replace Vandalized Holman Avenue Trees

COVINGTON, KY ­– The Covington community spirit is alive and well as the City and the neighborhood are working together to replace Holman Avenue trees damaged by vandals.

On July 7, vandals damaged recently planted trees on Holman Avenue in Covington.

The Department of Public Improvements Urban Forestry Division and the Westside Action Coalition members are addressing the issue of repairing and replacing the damaged trees.

An investigation into the incident by the Covington Police Department continues.

In 2014, the Covington Urban Forestry Division along with more than 100 volunteers planted trees in an effort to improve Covington’s urban environment.

As a result, the program was awarded the Community Environmental Luminary Award from the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection.

The program continued to expand and in 2015 the Center for Great Neighborhoods issued a $2,000 grant to plant more trees along the street. Along with funds from the City of Covington and a donation from local tree farmer Gus Wolf 40 trees were planted.

As of July 7, 17 of those trees on Holman Avenue were cut in half during the middle of the night.

Despite this wrongful act of vandalism, the community has wasted no time in working to address the situation. The Westside Action Coalition neighborhood group held a public meeting to discuss the incident and raise funds for a tree replacement plan.

At this meeting, about $1,300 was raised towards the replacement plan. Duke Energy also donated $2,000 to repair and replace the damaged trees.

The concern and generosity of the Covington community resulted in about $5,000 being donated to the effort.

“At this point, we are taking this devastating vindictive act of vandalism and turning it into a major success story that has strengthened the community's resolve to persevere,” said Covington Municipal Specialist of Urban Forestry Crystal Courtney.

As of Monday, July 11, the City’s Urban Forestry Division removed the remains of the 17 trees. The City is currently working with the Westside Action Coalition to further continue the replacement plan efforts.

Covington Police Chief Bryan Carter said the Criminal Investigations Bureau canvassed the area and interviewed several people. The case is under investigation. Anyone with information in regard to the tree vandalism should contact the Kenton County Police Dispatch at 859-356-3191.

Anyone interested in making a donation, please contact the Westside Action Coalition at 859-261-0758.