Hamilton County Park District
This summer, the Hamilton County Park District is offering “Free Firsts” Hamilton County resident appreciation days this summer. County residents get free entry, without a Motor Vehicle Permit, into any Hamilton County park on the first day of each month from May-August.
Free tour boat rides, free fishing, free rounds of miniature golf, discounts at Nature’s Niche stores and free nature programs, are also planned for those days. For a list, visit www.greatparks.org/events/free-firsts.html.
What a great idea! A nonprofit organization called the Green Umbrella is organizing two days – September 22 and 23 – packed with over 120 FREE samplings of the best outdoor recreation and nature education activities in our region.
Take a kayak lesson. Hike a new trail. Learn how to cook while backpacking. Explore the tree canopy 60 feet in the air. Shoot a bow and arrow. Tag a Monarch butterfly. Tie a fly. Play a CSI “nature detective”. Look for fossils in a creek. Catch a fish. Paddle the Mill Creek. Learn to row. Band a bird. Eat like an animal at the Cincinnati Zoo.
To plan your great outdoor weekend or view more information on specific events held by participating organizations, go to: www.GreatOutdoorWeekend.org. Printed brochures are also available at Subaru dealerships, area libraries, and at all participating organizations.
Great Outdoor Weekend is presented by Green Umbrella and sponsored by Subaru, the Cincinnati Wildflower Preservation Society, Hamilton County Parks, REI, The Licking River Greenway & Trails, Roads Rivers and Trails, Greenacres Foundation and BioGreenChoice. Channel 5 WLWT is media sponsor.
Additional sponsors include Kenton County Parks, Queen City Bikes, Oxbow, Inc., Rumpke, the City of Cincinnati, Little Miami Inc., AIGA Cincinnati, Bayer Becker, Wild Ones and Human Nature.
About Green Umbrella
Green Umbrella is a non-profit organization working to improve the economic vitality and quality of life in the region around Cincinnati by maximizing the collective impact of individuals and organizations dedicated to environmental sustainability.
Green Umbrella is the ‘backbone organization’ helping member organizations work better together to promote a more environmentally sustainable region. In partnership with our area’s leading planning initiatives — Vision 2015 in Northern Kentucky and Agenda 360 in Southwestern Ohio — Green Umbrella facilitates collaboration among over 100 area non-profits, businesses, educational institutions and governmental entities focused on the environmental aspects of sustainability.
We are so blessed in Greater Cincinnati to have so many beautiful, lush parks. I was reminded of it as I drove on Winton Road recently on my way to the Hamilton County Park District office.
It was a brilliant, sunny day, the kind of day that calls to you to come play. And, as I looked to my right I saw the body of water where I remembered feeding ducks as a child and grilled marshmallows and hot dogs on its banks. Only as an adult, what I saw in the over 2,500 acres surrounding me was a wonderland of lush greenery. It was inviting me to walk its trails and etch ripples in its mirror-like lake. “I will definitely be back soon,” I thought as I looked for the turn.
I was headed that day to the administrative offices for the Hamilton County Park District and Hamilton County Parks Foundation to talk with Amy Hoffman about the new Simmonds Family Dog Park, which, when it is finished will be our region’s largest and probably most beautiful dog park.
I heard about it at the SPCA Cincinnati Walk and I couldn’t wait to learn more. Play has such an important role in our dogs’ physical and psychological success, and it is so important in building strong relationships with our pets. It is no wonder dog parks are becoming so popular.
What makes the Simmonds Family Dog Park different is that is part of Hamilton County Parks. Actually it is being designed on over 11 acres at the scenic Miami Whitewater Forest. And if you have ever spent time at Miami Whitewater Forest, you know it is a spectacular setting for relaxing, learning, playing, and growing.
The new Dog Park, scheduled for completion in the spring of 2014, will include four separate fields including an all-season play field; trees and structures to provide needed shade on hot summer days; strategically placed benches; dog agility and a play zone.
Also part of the project, the SPCA Cincinnati is building an adjacent facility to provide care for large animals and provide farm educational opportunities for school age children.
Can you imagine? 11 acres of total fun for you and your dog in one of the region’s most beautiful settings!
Hamilton County Parks Needs Your Help
While the land for the new park was donated, there are still a lot of expenses in preparing the land, purchasing and building the structures, building roadways and other infrastructure. Not to mention the maintenance expenses.
They are $500,000 away from their fund raising goal of $1.1 million to pay for the project. There are a variety of contribution levels.
If you can help, please visit HCParksfoundation.org