COVINGTON, Ky. - Leaders in Covington are looking to make a powerful impact in the city's 19 neighborhoods starting Saturday.
The 2013 Covington Neighborhood Summit will unite urban leaders from the region with residents who want to make make lasting changes in their city.
"It's an event for anybody in the region who is interested in learning specific skills to help make their neighborhood and community a better place to live," said Rachel Hastings, director of neighborhood and housing initiatives with the Center for Great Neighborhoods in Covington.
Changes and Challenges
Home to about 41,000 residents, Covington is a growing entertainment and cultural destination dealing with urban issues.
In 2012, local leaders acknowledged growing heroin abuse and trafficking in Covington and neighboring Northern Kentucky Communities. A report in The River City News cited the heroin problem and prostitution on Covington's Mainstrasse as major challenges to community development.
- WATCH: Covington's Heroin Problem (WCPO) http://youtu.be/x1m_i7GUHCk
- READ: "Hookers and Heroin Growing Problem in Mainstrasse" (The River City News) http://rcnky.com/articles/2012/09/06/hookers-and-heroin-growing-problem-mainstrasse
Recent good news for the city includes the announcement that Jeff Ruby's Waterfront will return to Covington Landing. The popular restaurant has been closed for two years.
Attendees will explore routes towards change in Covington starting at 9 a.m. at the Gateway Community Technical College's Urban Center on Saturday. Five speakers will guide the conversation--ranging from community gardens to effective uses of social media.
"We have a session on social media and how to use social media appropriately," Hastings said. "How to really use it to connect with new folks in your neighborhood and community."
The social media segment will be led by Chris Morbitzer with the City of Cincinnati . Other speakers , like Lisa Helm, will talk about community gardening.
Helm is the founder and executive director of Garden Station Community Garden and Art Park in Dayton, Ohio.
"Community gardening allows (the city to make land) and active space," Hastings said, adding "(Helm) will talk about how you really market that active space."
The event is co-sponsored by the Covington Neighborhood Collaborative and will include a free breakfast and lunch.
Other speakers include Marie Kittredge of Slavic Village Development in Cleveland, Paula Boggs Muething of Real Estate Reutilization and General Counsel for the Hamilton County Land Bank and Gregory A. Smith and Leah Werner of Oberer Companies in Dayton, Ohio.
Live or work in Covington? What changes would you like to see in your community?