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Celebration Planned for Renovated Covington Parks

Two Covington parks will celebrate a grand re-opening this weekend.

Annie Hargraves and Basil Lewis Parks, in Old Seminary Square, will be reopen on Saturday, September 22, from 10 a.m. to noon with an event that features the Northern Kentucky University men's basketball team and other activities.

For the past three years, volunteers in the neighborhood have worked on the redevelopment of the parks through the Make It Possible committee, the Center for Great Neighborhoods, and the City of Covington. The plans received grant support from the R.C. Durr Foundation, KaBoom!, and Let's Play, as well as the Old Seminary Square Neighborhood Association, and individual donors.

Saturday's event will include the Norse basketball team, free food and games, fitness demonstrations by CoreStrong, a children's story time with local authors the Dye Brothers, and music.

The reopening celebration happens at Annie Hargraves Park, located at the corner of Robbins and Chesapeake streets.

The two parks are not part of the City of Covington's parks plan, prompting residents to address their concerns differently.

The city approved the Make It Possible plan in 2016.

Construction started in May and resulted in the installation of new playground equipment accessible to people of all ages and abilities, increased safety - and a view of the Cincinnati skyline.

There is new fencing around the park perimeter, a new bottle-filling water fountain, adult fitness equipment, swings, and a revamped basketball court that will be dedicated to George Stone, a Covington native and standout basketball player at Lincoln-Grant High School, Marshall University, and professionally with the American Basketball Association.

The parks also feature new grills, a patio and walkway, picnic and park benches, a retaining wall, and new landscaping.

Suzanne Anderson, resident of Old Seminary Square and co-chair of the Make It POSSible committee, said, “the completion of this project demonstrates how the ideas of a few citizens can have a major impact on a community.”

"Our partnership with the city and the Center for Great Neighborhoods was instrumental in taking the ideas of a few and making them a reality for many,” said Paige Ellerman, co-chair of the Make It POSSible committee.

“The neighborhood is extremely grateful for the efforts of all who have played any role in the Make It POSSible project, and especially for the leadership of Suzanne and Paige in truly making the parks’ redevelopment possible,” said Don Mays, president of the Old Seminary Square Neighborhood Association. “Our neighborhood is thrilled with the results of the project and we look forward to the connections within our community that we know will grow from the results of this project for years to come.”  

The Annie Hargraves Park was named to honor a beloved Covington schoolteacher and the Basil Lewis Park recognizes the accomplishments of a community leader and well-known employee of the City of Covington.

-Staff report