Peaselburg Blossoming in More Ways Than One

Spring is slowly but surely coming to Northern Kentucky and after a long winter of ice and snow, blossoming flowers are the perfect cure for cabin fever.

Imagine a community with over fifty planters and five different gardens full of all different kinds of flowers. Imagine that this community not only has blossoming flowers but a blossoming neighborhood association, active neighborhood events and a common goal for the benefit of the entire community.

This place is real and it is Peaselburg.

Referred to as ‘The Burg’ by natives, this small historic neighborhood, home to the historic St. Augustine Catholic Church, is much more than just a pass-through area between Kyles Lane and Madison Avenue. The Burg is blossoming as the result of some hardworking concerned neighbors that saw its potential and wanted to do their part to revitalize the neighborhood.

The flowers we have all been waiting for throughout this long winter are just waiting to pop up in Peaselburg.

In fact, four hundred tulips were planted at the neighborhood garden located at Highland Avenue and Henry Clay and a garden was created at Baptist Towers of Covington by the Garden Club at Glenn O. Swing Elementary. For Susan  Barnett, Vice Chairperson of the Friends of Peaselburg Neighborhood Association (FOPNA), this effort to perk up Peaselburg was more than skin deep when it began nearly twenty years ago.“The Peaselburg Neighborhood Watch residents wanted to do more in our neighborhood than just watch for criminal and suspicious activity,” said Barnett. “We wanted to beautify our neighborhood which led to our gardens and various litter projects.”

These projects led to even more projects. It all started around springtime in April 1994. More than 150 residents met at Glenn O. Swing for a concerned residents meeting. The Peaselburg Neighborhood Watch (PNW) stemmed from this meeting and the group has established a long, lasting bond with the Covington Police Department in efforts to keep The Burg safe.

The neighborhood grew even more from this PNW and Covington Police Department partnership and the possibilities for improvement soon started popping up everywhere. In 1996, the PNW added another entity called the Friends of Peaselburg Neighborhood Association (FOPNA) which became devoted not only to keeping Peaselburg safe but also to encouraging community engagement and the overall improvement and housekeeping of the area. It wasn’t long before a wide array of community programs worked its way into the lives of Burg residents.

In the Fall of 1994, this small, determined group of neighbors had their first official clean-up event for Peaselburg. FOPNA’s determination to tidy things up eventually led to their involvement in the Great American Clean-Up, a national program started by Keep America Beautiful.

That annual event, coming up this year on April 26, now has approximately seventy to 150 volunteers each year.

Regular celebrations such as Holiday Parties, two different Fish Fry events at St. Augustine and the Fire Department and two different parades for the 4th of July and Memorial Day are just a few of the things that FOPNA has had a large part in helping with. Partnerships with local businesses, such as St. Elizabeth Hospital, have also helped to strengthen the reach of PNW and FOPNA and have ensured that the two organizations will stay very active in the past, present and future concerns and goals of Peaselburg.

Several members of FOPNA have been involved from the very beginning and have devoted nearly twenty years to revitalizing this area and they openly invite those who are interested to join.

“Friends of Peaselburg is open to everyone. We encourage folks to come and get involved,” said FOPNA Chairperson Larry Weller, who has held this position for two years and has been actively involved for seven. “Maybe you can’t come to meetings but enjoy gardening. There is something for everyone, even if you want to bring baked goods to a Fish Fry. There really is something for everyone, whether it’s a big part or a small part.”

Regular meetings for the Neighborhood Block Watch (at 6 p.m.) and Friends of Peaselburg (at 7 p.m.) are held the fourth Monday of each month at the Center for Great Neighborhoods at 1650 Russell Street. If you would like to become involved in any of the services, activities or events within the blossoming Peaselburg community, visit its website at http://www.peaselburg.org/ or its Facebook Page “Friends of Peaselburg”.

Written by Jessie Stringfield, RCN contributor

Photo: Peaselburg via Facebook