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How to Make Park Hills Better: Residents Weigh In

More than 75 people showed up for the first Plan Park Hills meeting, to help shape the future of the city.

"I really didn't know what to expect, since this is the first session, but I was thinking 30 people would be good," said Mayor Matt Mattone. "This is great. It allows for the exchange of ideas, and starts people thinking. If we can get people to participate in how to fix up the city, it is like turning lemons into lemonade."

Participants were assigned to groups and they explored topics related to beautification, place, and infrastructure. Each group would then present their ideas on the topics.

Themes that emerged from the process included ideas for the beautification of the area between Trolley Park and the VFW in Covington, with decorative rocks and columns, a park line entrance, a new sign, better sidewalks, and gardens ranking highly. As an entrance to Park Hills, participants wanted to make it special.

Other outside-the-box suggestions included a community pool, a dog park, an agility course for older residents and children, and two quirkier ideas: a zip line to Mainstrasse and a bobsled track.

Placemaking ideas included an extension of Trolley Park down the hill and allowing for more events like theater and food trucks.

Infrastructure ideas included the addition of a storm drain to assist water runoff, and a wider road, and to improve hillside slippage.

Participants want a memorable entrance to the city with walkable sidewalks connecting the entire Amsterdam Road valley. Better lighting was also desired.

All of the suggestions will be put on the city's website and they will be grouped by priority and recommendations for city council to study.

The city is looking to host similar meetings on other topics each quarter.

 then told the remaining residents that all the post it notes will be compiled and put on the website, as will the results of the discussions, and the suggestions will be grouped into priorities and recommendations for Council to study.  In addition, everyone who contributed their email addresses will receive results.    He said the city would like to do this quarterly, but that this was a good pilot of the program.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor