Survey seeks ideas on Austinburg Park

Think of 1.9 acres “as a blank canvas,” City says 

COVINGTON, Ky. – Pretend you’re a painter looking at a blank canvas.
That’s the approach that Covington Parks & Rec chief Ben Oldiges wants residents to take when they make suggestions on how to improve Austinburg Park.
“Nothing is off the table,” Oldiges said. “It’s a blank canvas. We’re not necessarily keeping anything that’s there now, and even if we do, it won’t necessarily be in the same place.”
To help guide the public’s engagement, Parks & Rec has created an online survey available HERE. It’s short and simple: People are asked whether they live in Covington, and then they’re asked for suggestions on amenities and features they’d like to see.
Pictures to choose from include climbing features, adult fitness equipment, renovating the ball field, and a zip link feature.
The City has added Austinburg to an ongoing/overlapping redevelopment schedule that aims to have one neighborhood park under construction each year while a second park is under design and a third park is put before the public for suggestions.
The 1.9-acre park – which sits at 15th Street and Eastern Avenue and is tucked against the Licking River floodwall – is old and outdated, Oldiges said.
The baseball field’s infield is covered in grass and hasn’t hosted a game in years, the park suffers from lack of parking, and its play features duplicate what’s available nearby.
“One idea under discussion, for example, is to replace the diamond with a soccer field and remove one of the full-length basketball courts to make way for a small parking lot,” Oldiges said. “But nothing is set in stone.”
The survey will be available the whole month of September and represents just one dimension to Parks & Rec’s plans to attract the community’s thoughts.
An in-person event that was to kick off the public engagement process was paired with an outdoor movie at the park last Friday evening, but rain forced those to be canceled. That movie and the engagement event have been tentatively rescheduled for Sept. 24, Oldiges said.
“We’re excited to hear from people, and this survey will help us obtain a range of opinions,” he said.
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