Dogs, canoes, movies etc. etc.

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Public can weigh in as Parks & Rec master plan nears completion
 
COVINGTON, Ky. - A proposed 10-year master plan for parks and recreation investments that is nearing completion in Covington is jammed full of exciting ideas to expand how residents and visitors interact with the outdoors and have fun.
 
Among the ideas?
 
A dog park or parks. ... Better canoe and kayak launching points. ... An indoor recreation center. ... More recreational activities in the southern and western parts of the city. ... Better signage. ... More paved trail loops. ... More support features like drinking fountains and shade structures. ... Youth sports leagues. ... And more concerts, outdoor movies, and special events.
 
“If you have kids or like to be outside, this plan has something - or more likely, a half dozen things - that will grab your interest,” Covington Parks and Recreation Manager Rosie Santos said. “And whereas there’s no way for us to get it all done at once or even in a few years (we have to be realistic, after all), the plan will provide a comprehensive road map that has enabled us to wrap our arms around the whole parks system with the goal of helping us make funding decisions in the years ahead.”
 
The City began putting together the master plan in fall 2019 with the help of consultant Brandstetter Carroll Inc. In an attempt to understand why residents used or did not use parks and what residents would like to see in the park system, the process featured heavy dose of stakeholder meetings, focus groups, hearings, surveys, and targeted outreach.
 
Now the City is asking for public feedback on the nearly completed draft.
 
To see the executive summary and action plan of the plan, as well as provide feedback, click HERE.
 
Public input is fundamental to everything we do,” Santos said. “Over 2,000 people participated by completing surveys and hundreds attended various stakeholder meetings. You spoke, we listened - and now it’s time for your final feedback!”
 
The Parks & Rec Division hopes to have all feedback in hand by July 31, before it takes the master plan to the Board of Commissioners, probably in early August.
 
The plan doesn’t commit the City to funding any particular project or initiative but will serve as a framework and guide for officials as they submit yearly budget requests or seek grants and private gifts.
 
“It will definitely help us prioritize decisions and set immediate goals,” Santos said.
 
About Parks & Rec
All told, Covington has nearly 1,000 acres of parkland and green space spread out over 40 different parks, playgrounds and facilities, including about 700 acres that make up the expansive Devou Park and its golf course and biking trails.
 
The City directly manages about 30 facilities on nearly 200 acres, including the Licking River Greenway & Trails, the Riverfront Commons trail under construction, the 54-acre Bill Cappel Sports Complex (with its baseball diamonds and soccer fields), two full-size swimming pools, a water park, and an array of smaller playgrounds.
 
Historically, its programs and events have centered on providing affordable fun for families with a wide array of activities, such as the annual fishing derby for kids, aquatic aerobics for seniors, Easter Egg hunts, basketball skills clinics, yoga in public settings, one-day swim events for dogs, arts and crafts at parks and playgrounds, Tai Chi classes for adults, and outdoor movies.
 
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic and social-distancing regulations have affected many programs, facilities, activities this year.)
 
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