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Thursday, September 17, 2020

City Partners with Local Organizations to Create Welcoming Entrance to Fort Thomas

Fort Thomas city residents, members of the Garden Club and Green Team, worked with city crews to create a beautiful and welcoming gardenscape leading into the city on Memorial Parkway


By Robin Gee, city council beat editor

City residents and visitors coming into Fort Thomas from Memorial Parkway will see a transformation has occurred at one of the three main entrances to the city. City work crews worked with volunteers from the Garden Club of Fort Thomas and the Fort Thomas Green Team to create a beautiful and welcoming gateway.


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The city provided top soil and city crews helped do ground preparation and planting, but the design of the space and the trees and other plantings were the work of and funded by Garden Club and Green Team members.
The project also had support from Kentucky State Representative Joe Fischer, who helped secure approvals to plant in the state right-of-way, and the Northern Kentucky Water District that brought a waterline under Memorial Parkway to provide water to the site.

The work of many hands

At a short city council meeting on September 14, City Administrator Ron Dill took the opportunity to thank the volunteers and city staff who worked on the project.

Dill said the city has been working with these groups of residents for several years on projects throughout the city. The Green Team, founded by Fort Thomas Garden Club members and other residents, mobilized to help direct plantings and landscaping around city signage throughout town.

Many volunteers took on the work, which was led by Alison Murphy, a volunteer and chair of the Green Team who happens to be a landscape designer and who has worked with the city on several other projects, said Dill.
The goal of the project was to create a vibrant streetscape and provide seasonal appeal with plant selections. "I am very excited for residents of Fort Thomas who walk or drive Memorial Parkway regularly to now have more nature to enjoy. My hope is that it's not only pleasant to view, but also provides shelter for birds, food for pollinators, and of course, our main goal of increasing tree canopy in our town," she said.



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An idea that grew from a special celebration

The Garden Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The Memorial Parkway Tree Planting Project concept grew out of the club's initiative known as the Centennial Tree Project, a plan to plant 100 trees around the city in honor of the centennial.
According to a recent release about the project, a committee of volunteers identified Memorial Parkway as a large area that could benefit from the addition of more trees. They approached the Green Team and the city to partner with the Garden Club.
The project actually began in 2015. "I remember when a small group of garden club members met in my kitchen to figure out how to increase the tree canopy in Fort Thomas, since reports had shown a decline over the years. The brainstorm coincided with our 100th anniversary and even though it took time, we laid the groundwork. It is gratifying to see the project come to fruition," said Lori Wendling, Garden Club member and chair of the Centennial Tree Project.


Said Dill, "Groups like the Garden Club and Green Team are key to enhancing our community. We have been coordinating efforts for decades and it’s part of what makes our town beautiful and civic involvement so strong. "

He noted that plans are still being discussed to beautify the other two main entrances to Fort Thomas — the approach near St. Elizabeth and the entrance at the south end of town on US 27.

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