Covington hopes to make cemetery a hot spot for the warm-blooded

COVINGTON, Ky. -- City officials hope to transform the historic Linden Grove Cemetery and Arboretum into a community gathering place that attracts a new crowd: The living.

About 22,000 people are interred in the 174-year-old cemetery, which is one of the oldest Civil War burial grounds in the region. It's also Covington's largest urban green space, which board member Cole Imperi makes it a prime spot for non-mourners to connect with nature. 

"A hundred years ago, cemeteries used to get utilized a lot more," she said. "It was normal to go there on the weekends and have picnics. We are trying to return to that kind of ethos here in Covington. … We want to show that the cemetery is a park-like space; it's a place where you can hang out and rejuvenate and be restful."

In an effort to promote the space to the warm-blooded, the city of Covington is spending $200,000 to retool key parts of the cemetery. None of these efforts will disturb the graves, but are instead meant to add features such as new landscaping, paved paths, a rain garden and a new, wrought-iron gate to create a more inviting image.

"It's very good to see something like this as a benefit to the community," cemetery superintendent Gary Davidson said. "It just gives me a sense of fulfillment and pride to be a part of that."

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