Duke Energy awards $10K to Southbank Partners, enhancing $1.8M park project with greenery

NEWPORT, Ky - The Riverfront Commons in Northern Kentucky received a boost when Duke Energy awarded Southbank Partners a $10,000 grant for a portion of greenery that is slated for a 2014 completion date - turning a culvert into more than just concrete.

“We applaud Southbank Partner’s efforts to work with these communities on a project that will enhance the riverbank area between these cities and provide a new green space venue in Northern Kentucky,” said Rhonda Whitaker, director, government and community relations, Duke Energy Kentucky.

The grant money will fund the greenery on the top of the Taylor Creek Overlook, a part of the Riverfront Commons - a $1.8 million river trail planned along the Northern Kentucky riverfront. It’s an expansion that Southbank Partners has been working toward since convincing a legislator and the Transportation Cabinet that green space was needed on the banks on their side of the Ohio River.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet had set out to do some repair work on a culvert on Taylor Creek between Joe's Crab Shack and The Chart House, said Jack Moreland, Southbank Partners president. Southbank Partners, however, convinced KYTC to extend the culvert and create a small green space at the confluence of Taylor Creek. 

“We are working with the Transportation Cabinet to create the overlook of downtown Cincinnati,” said Moreland. “We hope it will be a small gathering space for walkers.” 

Taylor Creek Overlook, currently in its design stage, is being developed on land between Riverboat Row and KY 8 on the Newport/Bellevue line. The park will feature an overlook plaza with sculptures, benches and telescopes along with trees and underbrush.

State Rep. Dennis Keene, D-Wilder, who represents the Southbank cities of Newport, Bellevue and Dayton, helped secure state funding for the park.

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