A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

CBC, Renaissance Covington team up to install planters, plant flowers on Madison Avenue

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The Covington Business Council and Renaissance Covington are partnering for an aggressive three-phase flower project designed to beautify and enhance Madison Avenue between Fourth and Seventh Streets.

The cooperative effort began over the weekend with a first phase: 39 planters placed at key intersections along the route.

Volunteers from both organizations spent their Saturday working on the beautification project.

NKY Community Action Commission's Youth Build helped with some of the heavy hauling of planters and soil.

NKY Community Action Commission’s Youth Build helped with some of the heavy hauling of planters and soil.

Cost of the first phase was $19,500 with CBC purchasing the planters at a cost of $16,500 and Renaissance investing $3,000 for the flowers and soil. The City of Covington will water the planters.

CBC Executive Director Pat Frew said he hopes this initiative is the first of several in the coming months that will help the CBC to fulfill its mission of creating a positive business environment in Covington.

“We are incredibly excited and honored to partner with Renaissance Covington to create a visible demonstration of vibrancy in a section of the downtown soon to be framed by the $21-million Hotel Covington project,” Frew said. “By making this investment, we hope it will result in more businesses engaging in the work.”

Frew says also instrumental in the project was MKSK which provided pro-bono landscape architecture consulting services in the placement, arrangement and procurement of the flowers and planters.

“MKSK Principal Clete Benken and Planner Juliana Silveira provided valuable advice and facilitation for our boards and volunteers making sure the project is executed professionally.”

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Clete Benken (center) and Juliana Silveira of MKSK (right) provide instruction to planters Christine Barth, CBC and CBC volunteer Lorey Hall of Homeside.

“Madison Avenue has seen great progress over the past several years, with significant investment in historic building rehabs and facade improvements,” said Renaissance Covington Executive Director Katie Meyer. “This enhancement to the public realm is exciting and will build on the existing momentum. We are grateful to be a partner with CBC and MKSK in this initiative.”

Frew and Meyer also credit the City of Covington for its assistance in agreeing to provide water for the planters on an ongoing basis until winter. Local businesses are being asked to help provide oversight to make sure the planters are not filled with refuse.

The first planting involved a variety of seasonal fall flowers.

Hopes are high that stages two and three will occur late next spring, pending an additional $40,000 in funding that would allow the planting of flowers more conducive to spring and summer with the addition of another 36 planters in round and square configurations that would line Madison between the affected intersections.

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Volunteers readying plants for moveable carts prior to the flower planting./em>

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