Great Parks of Hamilton County

holiday lights
Dzenina Lukac / Pexels

Great Parks and Cohen Recycling's annual holiday light recycling program has broken a record for the second year in a row, collecting 15,700 pounds of lights, the cash value of which Cohen will donate to Great Parks. In 2019, residents donated 11,081 pounds of lights, a first for the partnership.

Photo by Jatniel Tunon via Unsplash

An international biodiversity challenge is coming to Ohio in April and local parks are betting on Cincinnatians to beat the competition from Columbus and Cleveland. The City Nature Challenge pits cities against each other in a race to document the natural world.

skunk cabbage
Tana Weingartner / WVXU

There are only two locations in Hamilton County where one of the earliest blooming wildflowers is known to grow, and just one where it grows naturally. It's called skunk cabbage and it begins pushing up through its marshy surroundings while snow still blankets the earth.

john ruthven
Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Editor's note: Famed wildlife artist John Ruthven has died. Known as the the "20th Century Audubon" for his depictions of birds, wildlife and flora, Ruthven died Sunday, Oct. 11. He was 95.

Some of Ruthven's works are currently on display at the Cincinnati Museum Center as part of the exhibit In the Audubon Tradition: Birds of A Feather. In this piece from 2019, he spoke with WVXU's Tana Weingartner after receiving a conservation award from Great Parks of Hamilton County.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Updated Aug. 5, 2020

Less than three weeks after approving a levy request for the November ballot, Great Parks of Hamilton County commissioners have repealed that decision. A special meeting was held Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

On the heels of completing a new master plan, and with work still going on at the individual park planning level, the Board of Park Commissioners for Great Parks of Hamilton County is approving a levy request for the November ballot.

Provided

For the 14th year, National Pollinator Week will work to bring awareness to the need for communities and individuals to introduce more pollinator-friendly plants to their yards and parks. Joining Jim Stump with more details on the week ahead is Lisa Salehpour from Great Parks of Hamilton County.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The number of people visiting Great Parks of Hamilton County is up but revenues remain down.

Great Parks Of Hamilton County: Wildflowers

May 8, 2020
greatparks.org

Learn more about the wildflowers in the Great Parks of Hamilton County in this commentary from the parks’ Kimberly Whitton.

Courtesy of Great Parks

Great Parks of Hamilton County is in the middle of a multi-year assessment of local watersheds in need of preservation or rehabilitation. Naturalists are inspecting more than 1,000 primary headwater streams throughout the Great Parks system.

golf
Pixabay

Cincinnati Edition speaks with Kimberly Whitton, the public engagement coordinator with the Great Parks of Hamilton County, about reopening the county golf courses beginning this Friday.

Great Parks Of Hamilton County On Home Composting

Apr 24, 2020
Provided

As we all are spending more time at home, Kimberly Whitton from Great Parks of Hamilton County is offering tips on how to start a home composting program.

Courtesy of Great Parks Of Hamilton County

If you come across a string of broken lights as you unpack decorations for the upcoming holiday season, know there is at least one bright spot: you don't have to send them to a landfill. 

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Biologists were called to the Veterans Affairs building in Lincoln, Nebr., last week to evict an unusual visitor. A 20-pound bobcat somehow found its way into the VA but was quickly caught in a cage and relocated back to the wild. While that's unlikely to happen in Greater Cincinnati, the namesake of Ohio University's mascot is back on the prowl in Southwest Ohio.

bald eagle
Courtesy of Great Parks Of Hamilton County

Bald eagles are no strangers to the Tri-State. The bird's range covers all of North America and nests are not uncommon along area rivers. Twice this year, they've been spotted at Winton Woods.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Updated June 8 at 9 a.m.

Winton Lake at Winton Woods is now open to recreation, including boating and fishing.

"As cleanup efforts wind down, isolated portions of the lake may be closed temporarily through next week," Great Parks says in a statement. "Guests should obey posted signs."

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The Metropolitan Sewer District says a mass of tree roots, grease and "flushable" wipes caused a sewer line to overflow in Winton Woods. The agency is also investigating a second sewage spill elsewhere in the park.

Courtesy of Great Parks

This story was updated to reflect comments from the Metropolitan Sewer District and Ohio EPA.

Winton Lake at Winton Woods is closed to fishing and boating as Great Parks of Hamilton County and the Metropolitan Sewer District investigate a sewage overflow.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Ohio's largest public seed nursery is right here in Southwest Ohio, and it's hosting an open house this weekend.

parky's pirate cove
Courtesy of Great Parks Of Hamilton County

Updated: 3:20 p.m.

Miami Whitewater Forest has permanently closed its wet playground, Parky's Pirate Cove, Great Parks of Hamilton County announced Tuesday. 

Buckeye Falls at Sharon Woods
Courtesy Great Parks of Hamilton County

With 21 parks and preserves covering 17,666 acres, Great Parks of Hamilton County is the largest land holder in the county. Established in 1930, the park system completed its first-ever Comprehensive Master Plan this January. The plan will guide parks, facilities, programming and services over the next 10 years, through 2028.

great parks team
Courtesy of Great Parks Of Hamilton County

At the end of 2018, Great Parks of Hamilton County put out the same plea it had made for the past four years: Drop off your broken or unwanted holiday lights at collection points located in six of its parks, and Cohen Recycling will pick them up for recycling and match the donation value of the lights back to Great Parks, up to $2,000.

As it turns out, last year was a particularly bright spot for the annual program. 

hiking
Courtesy of Great Parks

Great Parks of Hamilton County grew by 158 acres last year, bringing its total acreage to 17,666. The park district says that makes it the county's largest land holder.

Provided: / Great Parks of Hamilton County

Updated March 6, 2:07 p.m.

As spring approaches, Great Parks of Hamilton County is hoping for a little help in stopping the spread of a perennial problem. Natural Resources Director Jessica Spencer is asking park visitors to keep an eye out for invasive species.

coyotes
Dru Bloomfield / Wikimedia Commons

People are seeing more coyotes in neighborhoods throughout Greater Cincinnati lately, on both sides of the Ohio River. And that is causing many of them to worry about the safety of their children and pets.

coyotes
Dru Bloomfield / Wikimedia Commons

When coyotes start howling, their cacophonous calls may sound alarming to some people. However, the sporadic-sounding yelps are generally just canine chitchat.

Burnet Woods
KEITH LANSER / Wikimedia Commons

A group of campers and artists want to make neighbors with the wildlife in one of Cincinnati's oldest parks. Two proposals would change part of the 90-acres inside Clifton's Burnet Woods.

Provided / Great Parks of Hamilton County

You can now use your smartphone to check out that local hiking trail before you set out. Images of trails throughout 16 Hamilton County parks were captured in spring and summer last year and are now available on Google Maps.

Great Parks

Great Parks of Hamilton County is in the middle of an 18-month process to draft its first-ever comprehensive master plan, and it wants to hear your ideas and feedback.

Provided

Hitting the trail for a long trek, then relaxing by the fire is a great way to build confidence and bond with other hikers. Now Great Parks of Hamilton County is offering an outdoor training series to bring women closer together. 

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