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Covington's Park Strategy Turns Focus to Austinburg Neighborhood

The City of Covington is seeking feedback on the future of Austinburg Neighborhood Park.

The city's parks and recreation staff will be on site Friday evening for the outdoor movie showing of A Dog's Life.

They want the thoughts of neighbors of what is needed there like more playground equipment, pavilions, bike racks, etc.

The park is located at 15th Street and Eastern Avenue.

“Most of the park has not been touched for years, and it can use a lot of TLC,” said Ben Oldiges, manager of the city's parks and recreation department. “I would say fewer than 100 people per week utilize the space because it is just so outdated.”

The film begins at dusk, but Oldiges said people typically begin showing up around 7 p.m.

At the park on Friday there will be what Oldiges calls "sticker survey boards" to collect input. Poster boards will be placed throughout the park, featuring lists of various park amenities and features. Participants will be given stickers that they can place next to the amenities and features they would like to see in the park. They can also suggest their own ideas.

Following the Friday night effort, there is a more formal community engagement session scheduled for September 16.

The Austinburg Neighborhood Park redevelopment is part of an ongoing/overlapping redevelopment schedule that aims to have one city neighborhood park under construction each year while a second park is under design and a third park is put before the public for suggestions.

“Currently, we are in the design phase for the new Covington dog park,” Oldiges said. “Community engagement is set to begin on Goebel Park in the next few weeks, with those dates to be disclosed by the end of the week. Barb Cook phase two is set to take place this year as well.”

Three redevelopment projects have already been completed: Father Hanses Park in Lewisburg in 2018, Peaselburg Park on Howell Street in 2019, and phase one of Barb Cook Park in Latonia earlier this year.

In all three instances, upgrades largely reflected the vision of the neighborhoods, the city said in a news release.

Oldiges thinks improvements to Austinburg Neighborhood Park will set the tone for the greater Austinburg redevelopment to come with the city’s Eastern Corridor Activation initiative.

“It’s time that this park receives the attention it deserves so that it can be enjoyed by everyone,” he said. “People’s ideas will have a direct impact on how we move forward.”

-Staff report

Photos provided