Great Parks of Hamilton County completed its first ever Comprehensive Master Plan this January, working closely with consulting firm MKSK and an Advisory Committee, utilizing an inclusive and thorough community planning process. The plan will guide parks, facilities, programming and services over the next 10 years, through 2028. View the executive summary here.
The process began in 2017 with active community engagement, including interviews, surveys, meetings and workshops, involving over 2,200 members of the public. Results indicated strong support for conservation efforts, active recreation programs, trails, special events and facility updates. It was also discovered through the countywide survey that Great Parks has an 8% higher visitation rate than the national average.
Based upon the engagement process, data collected and guidance from the Advisory Committee, the Great Parks project team created five goals: 1) Be a recognized leader in conservation, 2) Provide innovative programming as a gateway to nature exploration, 3) Create outstanding experiences, 4) Advance fiscal health and 5) Operate with high standards of excellence.
These goals led to a series of recommendations that were then distilled into the following top eight priorities for implementation: 1) Build more trails, 2) Add programming and events for diverse audiences, 3) Provide access to conservation areas, 4) Establish a defined blueway system, 5) Focus on partnerships, 6) Build ecological resiliency and sustainability, 7) Expand access for all users and 8) Plan for the future of every park.
Next steps include implementation of the comprehensive plan priorities and the development of park and facility master plans through upcoming regional community engagement efforts.
Great Parks Comprehensive Master Plan Advisory Committee Members:
Linda Antus, Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network
Clifford Bailey, TechSoft Systems, Inc.
Karen Bankston, PhD, MSN, FACHE, University of Cincinnati
Cory Christopher, Cincinnati Nature Center
Jennifer Chubinski, PhD, Interact for Health
Myrita Craig, Sapientia Consulting Inc.
Eric Kearney, Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky African American
Chamber of Commerce
Marian Leibold, The Yunker Group
Dave Neyer, STNL Development
Tony Rosiello, Hamilton County Probate Court
Katrina Rugless, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
Eric Russo, The Hillside Trust
Amy Searcy, Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court
Tim Steigerwald, Messer Construction
William Thomas, MORTAR Cincinnati
Amy Thompson, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
Lincoln Ware, Radio One
Melissa Wideman, Castellini Management Company
Kevin Wimmer, ELMNTL Fitness