We're always working to enrich the community through our cemetery's beauty and services.
From 2015–2016, we added 42 new trees, giving us a total of 332 in the collection. Of the 332, we have 100 difference species, varieties and cultivars. Also, we had five traditional burials and four cremations.
There is a substantial amount of unused acreage in the Cemetery that is not currently available for burial purposes due to improper fill and drainage problems. The current lack of usable ground for burials has caused the Cemetery Board to temporarily suspend the sale of graves in the Cemetery. This has severely impacted the Cemetery’s ability to generate funds for its operations (outside of the operating subsidy provided by the City and County). Resolution of drainage and fill problems is necessary for the redevelopment of existing unused acreage for burials and other improvements and is essential for the Cemetery’s viability and long term sustainability.
Due to limited visible vehicular and pedestrian access, the Cemetery remains somewhat inaccessible to many local residents. Greater public appreciation of the Cemetery’ natural beauty and historic significance is vital to its long term sustainability as a valuable historic and cultural asset to the Covington community. In addition, the Cemetery is the largest green space within Covington’s urban core, necessitating its use for passive recreational activities consistent with the sacred and solemn character of this site.
Significant investment will be required to provide solutions for these particular challenges. The Cemetery Board and its represented stakeholders are committed to addressing and resolving these fundamental issues through the following improvements identified as priorities in the Master Plan development process.
Restoration of unused Cemetery roads as walking trails
There are a number of dedicated, yet unused and non-maintained roadways in Linden Grove Cemetery. These roadways are easily identifiable, connect distant sections of the Cemetery, and have a heavy gravel base that has become overgrown with grass. These existing roadways are ideal for use as pedestrian walking trails and two distinct walking trail circuits have been identified. No graves will be disturbed or violated by development of walking trails along these roadways. The Cemetery has recently received a $1500 grant from Duke Energy to move forward with the finalizing of these trails.
The Master Plan design concepts approved by the Cemetery Board details the restoration of a pond inside the Cemetery. The original pond was drained in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s. Because the area was not properly re-graded, it has continued to retain water and presents a variety of maintenance difficulties. A water feature was one of the original design components of the Cemetery and its restoration will provide a source for irrigation of landscaping improvements as well as help to contain stormwater and groundwater seepage. The location and size of the pond will guide the determination of other uses for existing vacant land and the location of other planned improvements. An in-kind pledge of more than $15,000 has been received from Paul Michels & Sons Construction to assist in the restoration of the pond.
A pedestrian entrance gate on Kavanaugh Street opposite Prague Street will provide additional access to the walking trails in the Cemetery. The development of passive recreational opportunities in Linden Grove Cemetery will provide an intrinsic benefit for neighborhood residents, hospital employees and visitors to the area. The need for such additional green space and passive recreational uses is identified as a priority in multiple sections of the “Building Covington’s Future Plan”. Pedestrian entrance gates salvaged from the Cemetery’s original wrought iron fencing from the late 1800’s and stored at the Cemetery will be re-used for this project.
Veterans' Memorial Plaza
The Master Plan design concepts approved by the Cemetery Board detail the development of a Veterans’ Memorial Plaza in the parade ground/assembly area in front of the Speakers’ Platform. The Plaza will be framed by 3 to 6 Columbarium reserved for Veterans only and paved with memorial stone pavers. This project represents a significant and more immediate potential for generating additional income for the Cemetery.
Nancy Slagle Memorial
The Nancy Slagle Memorial Grove (dedicated May 29, 2010), serves as a lasting memorial to a tireless advocate for the community of Covington. Nancy Slagle, a lifelong Covington resident and neighborhood activist, died in 2009. A tireless volunteer for conservation and preservation in Covington, some of Nancy's efforts included planting and nurturing hundreds of trees, creating community public art projects, organizing neighborhood associations, and leading a documentary about life in Covington.
The grove, located in the northeastern corner of the cemetery near the new entryway off 13th Street, is comprised of both native and non-native trees, labeled with multi-colored educational signs. The effort to expand the grove is ongoing, funded by donors to the Nancy Slagle Memorial Fund administered by the Center for Great Neighborhoods.
Special thanks to donors Chuck Eilerman, Dennis Fangman, Jane Stephens Auge, Mary Sue Dressman, Neil Blunt, Patricia & William Brungage, Regina Estes, Susan Barnett, Pat & Ann Flannery, Rob & Amy Haney, Mary Middleton, De & Susan Deis Stewart, Col Owens, J.T. Spence, Rebecca Applegrath, Clem Dwertman, Michelle Tibbs, and the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission.
Our new vehicle entrance on West 13th Street opposite Lee Street is almost complete!
The current and sole entrance to the Cemetery is obscurely located on an alley, set back ½ blocks from Holman Avenue, the main thoroughfare connecting the Westside and Peaselburg neighborhoods. A new vehicular entrance in a more prominent and functional location is needed to improve public access to the Cemetery, an alternate egress for vehicles, and to create greater visibility befitting the Cemetery’s historic and cultural significance.
The reconstruction of West 12th Street/Martin Luther King Boulevard will provide greatly improved vistas of the Cemetery’s northern perimeter. The development of the new Saint Elizabeth’s medical center has generated a substantial increase in traffic along West 13th Street, the Cemetery’s longest and most prominent boundary. A set of vehicular entrance gates valued at more than $5,000 has been donated to the Cemetery by Mother of God Cemetery in Covington.
Union Veteran Headstones
Over the last several years, a number of Union Veteran headstones have been replaced through the efforts of the local chapter of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Replacement headstones are provided at no charge by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The replacement of deteriorated Union Veteran headstones will be an ongoing effort, led by the Sons of Union Veterans and supported with assistance and materials from the Cemetery.
This project significantly beautified the most prominently used public space in the Cemetery. As the terminus of the annual Covington Memorial Day Parade, the area around the Speaker’s Platform is very recognizable to parade participants and creates a lasting first impression for first time visitors to the Cemetery on Memorial Day.
The landscaping improvements were designed by landscape architect Ms. Rachel Comte of Madison Tree Care & Landscaping, who donated her services to the Friends, and were installed by volunteers from the Master Gardeners Program, the Westside Action Coalition and the Friends of Peaselburg Neighborhood Association.
Cost $1,600. Funding for this project was provided by the Place Matters Grant awarded by the Center for Great Neighborhoods.