Park and Tree Board

 PARK & TREE BOARD NEWS  (click for more info)

The Southgate Park and Tree Board is a committee appointed by the Mayor.  The committee’s primary duties are to educate the public on the value of trees and gardening, tend to the flower gardens around the Southgate Community Center, choose the Green Thumb award winners to residents who have done an outstanding job in their landscaping, and choose the best Holiday decorations in December.  The Board works with the KY Division of Forestry and the National Arbor Day Foundation to educate residents on the importance of properly maintaining the urban forest.

The City of Southgate Park and Tree Board is now accepting new members.


Mary Bridewell, Chairperson

Alex Holtleeson

Emily Ling

Jim Okura

Tim & Erin Costigan

Steve Bridewell, Campbell Co. Extension Liaison

Council Member Liaison: Aileen Okura

Staff Member:  Arvil Bowman, Public Works Foreman

The City of Southgate has been awarded the Tree City USA award since 2005.   Tree City USA for 18 years and Growth Award for 17 years.  Thanks to the Southgate Park & Tree Board for all their hard work!

Longest Growth Award in Southgate

Southgate is part of the Campbell County Trail Passport 

Trail passport

Hints from Your Park and Tree Board


Growing a garden these days with the increasing deer population is a real challenge. We previously gave you a website which tells which flowers deer like and which ones they do not prefer.  See

Now some of you will want to take the challenge to grow plants that deer love such as tomatoes and sunflowers. The picture with the giant sunflower was taken before the deer population was not as prevalent and no deterrent was used. Now you need something to keep the deer away. I have used Deer Scram in the past with success, but it is rather expensive. Ft. Thomas Florist sold me a liquid Deer Stopper which seems to be working well.  UK Extension Service suggested trying Bonide Repels All. I have a friend who swears by a mixture of liquid soap and water. What have you had luck with?


Guidelines for Planting Street Trees

Click here for the Guidelines for planting street trees brochure (PDF)


These were the words my granddaughter exclaimed when she saw the zinnias she helped plant. Every spring I buy some zinnia and marigold seeds and get my grandchildren to help me plant them.  They get excited when the tiny plants peep through the soil.  They help water them and transplant them. The grown plants create their “WOW!” moment.  Zinnias and marigolds are not on the deer’s favorite food list and the zinnias draw a lot of butterflies.  
You don’t have to wait until spring to teach your child / grandchild about the wonders of nature.  Fall is an excellent time to plant spring bulbs. Daffodils are deer safe, but be careful if you plant tulips. Deer love tulips. The Campbell County Extension Service is available to help you with your planting questions. You can reach them at 859-572-2600.

More information to come



2022 Green Thumb Awards

May –   Jeremy Bowman –  5 Retreat St.

May –  Andrew & Emily Yokajty –  241 Lindent Ave.

June –  Leonard Mabalot III –  109 Maple Ave.

June – Oliver -Nieses family – 118 Tracy Ln.

July – Gary & Jen Gearding –  111 Electric Ave.

July –  Dave Harney –  272 Beech Rd.

2022 Arbor Day

Arbor Day, 2022, was observed on Friday, April 29, 2022, at the Southgate Community Center, and was a tremendous success.  The City of Southgate was named Tree City USA for the 17th year and received the Growth Award for the 16th year from the National Arbor Day Foundation.  The topic for 2022 was Smile and Say Trees.  Southgate Elementary School 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th-grade teachers and students did an outstanding job creating posters for the poster contest honoring Arbor Day and the importance of trees to us all.  Winners were recognized with First Place, Second Place, Third Place, and Honorable Mention ribbons, and all students received Participation ribbons.

Fourth, fifth and sixth-grade winning posters will be on display at the Ft. Thomas Branch of the Campbell County Library through May 15.  Please stop in and enjoy the creative works of our students.

Plaques were given in memory of Ruth Kramer and Juanita Bittner, distinguished citizens of Southgate and lovers of nature.  They will be remembered and missed by all.

The keynote speaker for the event was Luke Saunier, Kentucky Division of Forestry, who gave an interactive presentation on how trees communicate to help them survive.  This is Luke’s 15th year serving as our keynote speaker, and the kids always love him – and so do the adults!

2023 Green Thumb Awards

2023 Home Decorating Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who decorated their homes for the holiday season.  Awards were given to the winners at the Community Christmas Party on Dec. 17, 2023.  Congratulations to the winners!


The Park and Tree Board’s Green Thumb Awards run from May through October. Two awards
are given each month to Southgate residents who have made special efforts to add beauty to
their landscape. Please call 859-441-0075 if you have someone you would like to nominate.

May winners:  103 Joyce & 153 North

June winners:  121 Ft. Beech  & 110 Tracy Ln.

July winners:  390 Linden Ave. & 72-01 View Terrace

August winners:  246 Bluegrass Ave. & 256 Beech Rd.

Sept. winners:  248 Linden Ave. & 46-03 Woodland Hills

Oct. winners:  128 Bonnie Terrace & 52 Fairway Dr.