Help plan the future of Covington’s parks

The work of the volunteer Parks Advisory Group set in motion the upgrades of several parks, including pending work here at Barb Cook Park in Latonia. 

COVINGTON, Ky. - Covington is looking for five more people to join a volunteer group that will help create a master plan for the 30 parks, playgrounds, and recreational areas run by the City. 

The mission of the Parks Advisory Group is critical: To help Covington’s Parks & Recreations Division create parks, green spaces, activities, and programs that residents actually want, and to encourage the public to then embrace those efforts.
“We don’t subscribe to the theory of ‘build it and they will come,’ ” said Rosie Santos, Covington’s Parks & Recreation Manager. “That essentially would be us telling residents what we want them to do. We want to do it the other way around so we can create spaces that residents actually use. Plus, the more engaged people are in a space and use it, the more they will help protect it, enhance it, maintain it, and invest in it.”
The Parks Advisory Group, which meets about once a month, normally has 11 members but is down to six.
It was created in 2017 to help the City pore through an inventory of its parks and prioritize them for redevelopment. That process led to an upgrade of Father Hanses Park in Lewisburg, with construction pending at what’s currently called Little People’s Playground in Peaselburg. Design work at a third park, Barb Cook Park in West Latonia, is also pending.
With a renovation schedule under way, the board’s primary role going forward will be to obtain and present community input for the master plan. Covington plans to hire an outside company in early spring to write a long-term and high-level vision for the City’s parks system.
All told, Covington has over 900 acres of parks and green space in 40 different parks and playgrounds. The City directly runs about 30 of those on nearly 200 acres.
“Covington is blessed with an extremely wide array of recreational opportunities, especially given our size,” Santos said. “But as with every City, resources are limited, so we need to be strategic with our work.”
That’s why the City has definite goals for the makeup of the Parks Advisory Group.
One, it needs to be diverse demographically and geographically. In particular, the City needs representation from the Eastside and Westside neighborhoods, Santos said.
Two, it should include a broad range of experiences. The City is interested in people who have experience or expertise in one or more of these areas:
  • Agriculture, forestry or trails.
  • Amenities for children, like pools, playgrounds, and sports.
  • Adult-age recreation, whether it’s active or passive.
  • Schools.
  • Art, design, and aesthetics.
  • Community health and park maintenance, or public safety. 
Three, people who will advocate for parks and recreation on a broad level.
“We’re looking for people who can see the big picture, who will think in terms of what’s best for families across Covington instead of advocating only for their favorite sport, idea, or neighborhood,” Santos said.
Covington wants to fill the positions on the Parks Advisory Group as soon as possible, she said.
To apply, please complete the form, HERE. Or send your name, address, contact information, occupation, and employer to; by mail to Parks & Recreation, Covington City Hall, 20 W. Pike St., Covington, KY 41011; or by dropping it off at City Hall.
People with questions should contact Rosie Santos at the above email or by calling (859) 292-2322.
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