Center for Great Neighborhoods issues 15 grants for Covington bicentennial projects

The Center for Great Neighborhoods recently awarded more than $27,000 in Place Matters Neighborhood Mini-Grant Program funds to 15 projects throughout Covington. All of this year’s applicants were required to include an element that celebrates Covington’s bicentennial.
200 years, 200 people, $2,000 of produce ($2,000 grant)
As a “birthday” present to Covington residents, Grow the Cov will purchase surplus produce from the Covington Farmers’ Market and give it to those who lack access to fresh, affordable food. Produce will then be delivered on the Grow the Cov & Farmers’ Market Tricycle.
CNC Neighborhood Summit ($2,000)
The Covington Neighborhood Collective will sponsor a summit this Fall to help engage the community. The summit will be held at Gateway Community & Technical College and will feature sessions led by individuals from local and regional resource organizations to talk about housing, urban agriculture, using social media to maintain and generate community interest, collaboration across community-based groups and building a positive image for Covington.
Covington Bicentennial/Independence Day 2015 Parade ($1,450)
The Friends of Peaselburg Neighborhood Association are putting on the 4th of July parade for the 50th year at 10 a.m., starting at the St. Augustine School parking lot. The group has already installed banners throughout Peaselburg that read “Happy Birthday Covington 1815-2015.”
Game Night at Golden Towers, 200 years on the Licking River, 200 Years of White Cane Safety ($1,000)
The Northern Kentucky Council of the Blind plans to host a night of card games, bingo, cake and ice cream to celebrate Covington’s bicentennial and engage the elderly in the community. On May 16, “200 Years on the Licking River” will feature period costumes from 1815, a presentation of historical events, musicians, display and snacks. The “200 Years of White Cane Safety” event will highlight a number of blind people who have lived and worked in Covington over the past 200 years as well as educational activities.
Helentown Planter Design Project ($2,000)
The Helentown Neighborhood Association will involve youth in helping to beautify the neighborhood by creating bicentennial themed artwork on planters.
Levassor Park: Meet Your Neighbors ($2,000)
The Levassor Park Neighborhood Association will host several events to help encourage neighbors to be neighborly. In May LPNA will start the Sidewalk Community Garden, which will be two raised garden beds on wheels that will move around the neighborhood throughout the summer. Other events include Potluck in the Park, Sundaes on Sunday in July and August and the Fall Fun Festival in October.
Monte Casino Beautification ($2,000)
The Monte Casino Neighborhood Association plans to landscape a new Monte Casino Neighborhood Sign on Benton Road using vegetation native to the area. The group also plans to create the Bicentennial Butterfly Garden on three separate planted areas along Benton Road. MCNA will also create the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program to identify residents who need help with lawn work and small jobs. Monte Casino also plans to donate and help plant seven trees in the Peaselburg Detention Basin Beautification Project (see below).
Monte Casino: Building a Community ($2,000)
This MCNA project has six parts: publicizing a 2015 list of events on refrigerator magnets, hosting the Spring Gathering and Sign & Garden Dedication, encouraging neighborhood participation in the Peaselburg Bicentennial/Independence Day Parade, a fall Halloween gathering, donating plants and grass to the Peaselburg Detention Basin Beautification Project and the “Highlight the Hill” luminary event in December to say goodbye to Covington’s 200th year.
Morning Glory Gardens ($2,000)
The Morning Glory Gardeners will improve and expand the garden on Seventh Street in MainStrasse by adding new garden plots and providing organic soil donated by Grow the Cov to those who are interested. Detailed plans for the garden include a three-section compost bin built from recycled pallets; a green fence along the sidewalk and a sign that will route foot traffic through the garden; linking the entrances to the walking path; installing a large raised rain harvester tank in the northwest corner of the garden and a smaller backup tank along the fence; and a history of urban gardening with photos from Covington’s past displayed on the fence facing the sidewalk during the weeks surrounding the Covington Block Party.
Peaselburg Detention Basin Beautification Project ($2,000)
The Friends of Peaselburg Neighborhood Association will help the neighborhood creatively deal with the loss of the baseball field to a new detention basin that will help flooding. Plans include planting about 25 native trees and plants that will beautify the entrance to the area as well as creating a fenced area for a community gathering space. The group will also spruce up an existing garden at Highland and Benton with a flagpole and memorial plaque.
Randolph Park Roundball Classic ($2,000)
The Randolph Park Roundball Classic Committee is hosting the second annual three-on-three basketball tournament to highlight the benefits of the park as well as attract attention and money needed for improvements.
South Covington Community Action Association Expansion & Outreach ($720)
The South Covington Action Association is using the grant to build its website, familiarize members with the site and use it as a central hub to connect members and publicize their work. In July, the SCCAA will also host the bicentennial celebration cookout and meet-and-greet in Tot Park.
Westside COV200 Seed & Plant Community Fundraiser ($2,000)
The Westside Action Coalition will sell a wide variety of seeds and plants that grow well in Covington in the hopes of developing a large gardening community at the Great American Cleanup on April 25 at Goebel Park and the Old Seminary Square Garden Tour in June. The seeds will be packaged in envelopes that include an image of General Leonard Covington.
Westside Trail Canopy Enhancement Effort ($1,955)
Westside residents will plant 20 trees that were indigenous to the area 200 years ago along Holman Avenue to increase the tree canopy and make it a more inviting, walkable neighborhood.
Youth Troup Weekend Clean-up ($2,000)
From June through mid-August, groups of youth and Covington Clean will remove trash from residences and businesses across the city. They will participate in weekend neighborhood clean ups and other events such as flowerbed planting, storm drain marking and fundraising.
Since 2007, the Center for Great Neighborhoods has awarded about $350,000 to community organizations to help support 168 projects.
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Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.