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Work Begins on Old Seminary Square Parks in Covington

After several years of gathering ideas, planning, and raising funds, site-work has begun on a resident-led project to re-imagine and remake two small parks next to each other in Covington's Old Seminary Square neighborhood.
Crews from the City of Covington this week began removing problematic trees, fencing, and deteriorating basketball goals and playground equipment at the Annie Hargraves and Basil Lewis parks next to the CSX railroad tracks between Robbins and W. 9th streets.
Once demolition is complete, the parks will be rebuilt from the ground up, including new fencing and lighting, new playground equipment, a refurbished basketball court, a flower garden, benches and tables, and other amenities. The goal is not only to add features and increase use but also improve safety.
The project is part of Make It Possible, an initiative led by the neighborhood in conjunction with foundations and other partners.
The parks were not scheduled for immediate work in the city's redevelopment plan for its parks, playgrounds, and open spaces, but they moved up in priority when Make It Possible raised funds privately to pay for design, equipment, and installation.
The city is contributing about $60,000 worth of services for things like demolition, tree removal, landscape, and sidewalk work, as well as signs, trash cans, plants and other materials.
"Projects like this are a model for community-driven redevelopment," said Rosie Santos, Parks & Recreation Manager for the City. "From concept to implementation, the Old Seminary Square neighborhood has driven this project, and whereas it wasn't among our priorities for redevelopment, it rose to the top of the list because of their investment."
Most of the work should be finished by the end of summer, she said.
-Staff report
Photo provided