Great Parks of Hamilton County

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. 

john ruthven
Tana Weingartner / WVXU

John Ruthven's paintings have been displayed and treasured by collectors around the world. For his art and dedication to nature, Great Parks of Hamilton County is honoring Ruthven with its Conservation Award.

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. 

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.

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.

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.


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. 

oak glen nature preserve
Tana Weingartner / WVXU

It's been four years since an oil pipeline in Colerain Township ruptured, spewing thousands of gallons of crude down a hillside creek at Oak Glen Nature Preserve. In 2016, the focus shifted from cleaning the site, to restoration. That process is nearing completion.