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Linden Grove Hopes to Raise $250,000 to Transform Space Into Urban Park

Linden Grove Cemetery in Covington is hoping to raise $250,000 in a newly launched capital campaign.

The Friends of Linden Grove announced the effort earlier this month and recently celebrated a gift of $2,000.

"To maintain the momentum of the City's renaissance, we need more green space to make Covington much more livable," a fundraising letter from Friends of Linden Grove President Marshall Slagle notes. "I know from my personal experience an community involvement as well as my career in urban planning in Northern Kentucky over the last forty-plus years, that trees and green space are critical elements for the quality of life in any neighborhood."

Linden Grove, established in 1843 by the Western Baptist Theological Seminary, is the final resting place of veterans from all major American wars and many significant people from local history. Former United States Speaker of the House John G. Carlisle, Covington founder Thomas Kennedy, and 1934 Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Andrew Mack Garner are among those buried there.

In September 2012, Linden Grove's Board of Overseers announced plans to sell more plots and give the cemetery a facelift. The pond at the site was awarded $30,000 in grants for restoration. At least two-thousand plots for graves will be sold and the money earned from those sales will be put into an endowment for perpetual care of the cemetery ensuring that Linden Grove will not be ignored as it had been for decades, The River City News reported last year. (Plots have not been sold since 2008.)

Twenty new trees were planted in 2010 after $5,000 was raised for the Nancy Slagle Memorial Grove.

The cemetery is jointly maintained by the City of Covington and Kenton County and is the largest single green space in the heart of the city.

Among the plans laid out once the capital is raised is a new vehicular entryway on West Thirteenth Street and restored walking trails.

"We are not trying to compete with other important causes, but this important endeavor deserves your attention and support," Slagle writes. Linden Grove's value and benefit to the City of Covington and to Northern Kentucky as a whole cannot be overstated and should not be underestimated. Transforming the cemetery into an urban park is something that we need to do for all of the people that call Covington and Northern Kentucky home, for ourselves, our kids, and our grandkids."

Those interested in contributing to the cause can do so through the Center for Great Neighborhoods by mailing a check to Linden Grove Cemetery, c/o Center for Great Neighborhoods, 1650 Russell Street, Covington, KY, 41011 or by clicking here.

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo: Entrance to Linden Grove Cemetery/RCN file