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Covington rolls out the red carpet for families
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The city of Covington is doing its part to make the city the place families want to be. With the recent announcement of a new park, family-friendly events filling the calendar and initiatives to help students in the community, the city is making sure it has a hand in everything your family needs. 

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Planned for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the city of Covington is planning to begin work on what will be a 93-acre park complete with walking trails and disc golf. 

“This park is going to be cutting edge and we want to ensure it has something for everyone and is of the highest caliber when complete,” City Manager Leigh Anne Knight said in a news release about the park.

The park will connect neighborhoods throughout the city including Texas Alley, Sand Hill, Harristown, Sterling Lakes and Nelson Heights.  

“This community is extremely fortunate to have a tract of this size run through the heart of the city,” Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston said. “This project not only gives us the opportunity to bring some much-needed leisure activities to residents and visitors, but it allows us to enhance some areas of Covington that need some attention.”

The list of proposed amenities includes a disc golf course, a residential area, pavilions, hiking/walking trails, a mountain bike trail, skate park, playgrounds, multi-purpose fields, botanical gardens and restrooms. 

“We want people to be able to utilize Central Park any way they see fit,” Public Relations Manager Trey Sanders said. “That might be simply as a green space to read a book or the hiking or biking trails to get in shape. People can use it to reconnect with family or friends or as a temporary escape from the stresses of life. Regardless of your motivation for visiting, we want users to walk away from Central Park impressed and proud to have a facility like that in their back yard.”

In another effort to make Covington a family destination, the city has brought on new events to get residents out in the community to enjoy its amenities. 

In 2017, the city introduced special food truck events at Legion Field that quickly became a popular event for residents of all ages. 

Sanders said the city plans to partner with other local organizations to make the event bigger with the addition of inflatable toys for kids, a DJ and family-friendly movies. 

“After the city of Covington renovated Legion Field, demand for the facility grew, he said. “Weddings, corporate family days and use by film crews kept Legion Field busy, but there were no scheduled events where the public could enjoy their newly refurbished park. With their recent surge in popularity, food trucks seemed like a natural fit for the space.”

These events have proven to be a tool for potential citizens to see how the community comes together. 

“These events bring people together, instill a sense of pride in our community and helps brand the city of Covington as a town that produces quality events and does things the right way,” Sanders said. “We always look for ways to showcase our facilities and allow people to enjoy fellowship. We just want to make sure the events we have a hand in creating are memorable and of the highest quality.”

In addition to bringing the community together, the city of Covington is focused on the next generation. Johnston and the Covington Cares program have made it their goal to partner with the Newton County School System in educating the children. 

“The Covington Cares program has three pillars: encouraging a healthy lifestyle, promoting a clean community and addressing illiteracy in our community,” Sanders said. “By tackling the third pillar, you make a tremendous impact on reducing poverty. By helping children learn to read, you give them the most basic tool needed to be a successful adult.”

The city has partnered with Middle Ridge Elementary School to help tutor students in reading. 

Each city of Covington employee volunteers at the school one day a week for 45 minutes and helps almost six children during their time.

“We have been looking for ways to get Covington Cares involved in our school system for quite some time and it is exciting to see this finally come to fruition,” Johnston said. “One of our goals is to eradicate poverty and education is arguably the strongest way to do that. This program with Middle Ridge Elementary is a small brush stroke on a large canvas, but with assistance from other organizations, we can start painting with a very large brush.”