Great Parks releases plans for new Westwood park on former Gamble estate
Great Parks is looking for feedback on final plans for the district's newest park in Westwood. Plans for the 22-acre former Gamble estate on Werk Road were released late Friday and are available for public comment through Sept. 11.
"With new trails, programming, access to conservation areas, and protection of natural resources, this park will reflect many of the key priorities the public called for in development of our Comprehensive Master Plan," says Todd Palmeter, CEO of Great Parks, in a statement.
The draft master plan includes an accessible trail network with boardwalks and overlooks, an accessible treehouse, a greenhouse or pavilion structure, five pedestrian entrances, an informal nature play area, and room for outdoor activities.
An existing barn, carriage house and caretaker house are slated for re-use. Palmeter tells WVXU the planning and permitting phases are expected to run through 2024, with construction beginning in 2025. He estimates a grand opening in Spring 2026.
The as-yet-unnamed park will be the 22nd in the Great Parks network. You can fill out a survey about the proposed master plan at greatparks.org/werkroad.
Great Parks is conducting a capital campaign, part of which includes a naming rights possibility.
"If we find a donor who is very interested in this project and wants to contribute to the level that would earn them the naming right of the park, then that's when we'll discuss with them having the naming right. If not, then it'll be more of an internal decision," Palmeter explains. "We've had some early interest... we know there's public interest in this park and we're looking forward to maybe working with a donor on that project."
Great Parks acquired the site of the former estate of the late James N. Gamble in April 2021. A concept plan at that time included a nature trail, an urban ecology center and an education office, and a greenhouse and community garden. The terms of a grant used to fund the purchase require the area be used for "passive recreation," meaning the park will be largely preserved in its natural state, utilizing existing structures on the site. The funds have restrictions on new buildings or sports fields, etc.
The property was the former estate of the late James N. Gamble, son of Procter & Gamble co-founder James Gamble. The Gamble house was demolished in 2013 after a long fight between Cincinnati, the Greenacres Foundation and community members. James N. Gamble lived in the 13-room Victorian mansion from 1875 until he died in 1932.
Editor's Note: The embedded Facebook post and some websites indicate the survey closes Sept. 8. A spokesperson tells WVXU it is open through Sept. 11.