Linden Grove Cemetery is an historic Cemetery situated on 22.3 acres within the Westside neighborhood in the City of Covington. The Cemetery is bounded on the east by Holman Street, on the north by West 13th Street, on the west by Kavanaugh Street, and on the south by Linden Avenue.
In 2007, the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission initiated the Linden Gateway Small Area Study to provide guidance for future development in the Westside and Peaselburg neighborhoods of Covington. The Westside neighborhood has undergone dramatic and rapid change due to a number of recent large scale development projects. The new St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center facility was opened in 2011 and brings up to 450 employees into the neighborhood each day.
The expansion of West 12th Street/Martin Luther King Boulevard was completed in 2012. Hellmann Lumber, a pre-eminent local business in the neighborhood that had been in business for more than 140 years, closed its doors in 2009. In 2008, Short Main Street was reconstructed as a connector the new hospital campus and renamed James Simpson Way. That same year, a new Duke Energy substation was constructed on West 13th Street, directly opposite the Cemetery. These developments have significantly altered the face and character of the neighborhood, making it a fundamentally different place than what it was less than 10 years ago.
The need for parks and green space in Covington’s Urban Core has been identified in several planning documents, including the “Building Covington’s Future” Strategic Plan adopted in 2006 and Vision 2015. In 2008, the Linden Gateway Small Area Study found that the Westside and Peaselburg neighborhoods are particularly deficient in open green space, tree canopy and pervious surfaces. Linden Grove Cemetery is the largest green space within Covington’s urban core and represents a significant exception to that deficiency.
Providing this site as a usable green space for passive recreational activities (consistent with the sacred and solemn character of this site) will offer a two-fold benefit: 1) it addresses the critical shortage of parks and green space in the urban core of Covington; and 2) it helps to improve the vitality and viability of the surrounding neighborhoods.
The increased publicity and awareness of the cemetery has generated new interest in the surrounding neighborhoods, helping to transform them into vibrant destinations. The interest and appeal of restoring Linden Grove is evidenced by the scope of support and level of participation of a wide variety of organizations that have partnered with the Friends of Linden Grove over the past 7 years. The involvement of a number of other not for profit partners and private sector companies has resulted in a very successful public-private collaborative effort. Since its inception, the Inter-Local Agreement for Linden Grove Cemetery has become a widely recognized model for inter-governmental cooperation.