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Great Parks of Hamilton County is taking control of Lunken Airport Trail

Elyce Feliz
Flickr Creative Commons

Great Parks of Hamilton County is taking control of the trail around Lunken Airport. The five-mile long path is owned by the city of Cincinnati, but Great Parks will maintain it.

Great Parks CEO Todd Palmeter says it will be a similar arrangement Great Parks has with the city for Armleder and Fernbank parks.

“Those are both city parks, but we operate them as if they were our own,” he says. “We see the same thing with Lunken Trail, that we will continue to operate through a lease, but the responsibility of the trail itself and the areas around the trail are ours just like if it was a trail here in Winton Woods.”

Winton Woods is where Great Parks’ offices are.

Palmeter says the deal with the city of Cincinnati will help unite trail systems.

“This is an ideal location for us because we already maintain and operate all the way down to the (Little Miami) River; we’re finishing the Beechmont bridge which will be opened in September. And then we have Armleder, and we will also be responsible for the Oasis Trail when it is built.”

The Oasis Trail will connect Lunken to Downtown.

Palmeter says Great Parks has already started work around Lunken. “We’ve placed out recycling bins in lots of locations. The next step will be vegetative control: working on invasive species. A lot of the vegetation that kind of creates this tunnel along the trail corridor is non-native or invasive, so we will work to control that vegetation, open up some views towards the airport, towards the river.”

Palmeter says the shift means the city can focus on other things, while Great Parks can work toward unifying trail networks in the area. He says with the completion of the Beechmont Bridge Connector this fall, Great Parks will be well on the way to connecting Terrace Park with Downtown via trail.

Access to the trail will still be free.

The lease, like those for Fernbank and Armleder parks, is for five years.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.