An Attitude of Gratitude in Cincinnati Parks

As we enter Thanksgiving week, it’s time to recognize the gratitude in our attitudes. There’s so much to be thankful for in our Cincinnati Parks. We are sharing a few things we are most grateful for this season.

Photo: Ian Hebenstreit

I’m so thankful to have an incredible park and playground within walking distance from our house where I can take my active toddler for free without getting in the car and teach him how awesome nature and fresh air are. It’s also been a nice place to meet and talk with new people each time we go and develop park friends. I’m equally thankful to have made really great friends through the Women’s Committee and volunteering for the Hats Off Luncheon. The Parks have taught me a lot about trees and flowers. They are so impressive and beautiful in every season and I get excited to return to the park to see what’s popped up next. Lee Lindner, Women’s Committee of Cincinnati Parks Vice Co-chair

I’m also grateful for the bandstand in Burnet Woods. It’s such a great place that, when programmed, brings the diverse community together within the city. Bettina Bellucci, Executive Assistant, Cincinnati Parks Foundation

I’m so thankful for the peace and tranquility the parks offer me. Life is so busy that I sometimes need to go to my favorite park and breathe. It’s a unique experience, especially this time of year when the leaves are changing colors! Sheila Simmons, CPF Board Member

Photo: Ian Hebenstreit

“I am always so grateful for the variety and amount of parks that we have in Cincinnati. There is truly something for everyone. It’s important to me that my children grow up exploring and playing outside, and Cincinnati parks provide us with that opportunity.” -Kathryn DeNicola, CPF Emerging Leader

I’m grateful for park planners, Kessler and Strauch, who had the initial vision to create tree-lined streets, beautiful overlooks, pockets of greenspace and iconic pieces of architecture. We are a city built within a park system. Jennifer Hafner-Spieser, Executive Director, Cincinnati Parks Foundation

When I moved back to Cincinnati from Chicago, I lived downtown, two blocks from Smale Riverfront Park. Shortly after my arrival, I got a puppy, and if it wasn’t for that park, I wouldn’t have had anywhere to safely walk, potty train, and play with him any time, any day. So Smale Park quickly became my green living space and like a second home. It was my yard for the 6 years I lived downtown. Having worked in a downtown office for nine years, close to Smale, it became a place to escape during the work day. Whether for a walk to blow off steam, picnic lunches or team building events, Smale was beautiful, close, and not to mention a free space to get away. Lindsey Lewis Morton, Women’s Committee of Cincinnati Parks Vice Co-chair

Photo: Ian Hebenstreit

Thankful to the incredible staff for their hard work keeping our parks beautiful. Emily Parker, Engagement Coordinator, Cincinnati Parks Foundation

“I’ve lived in Cincinnati for 18 years, and my entire time in the city, I’ve been walking distance to a Cincinnati park. I feel so lucky to have easy access to such beautiful green spaces, and I’ve taken full advantage of using the space to train for several Queen Bee races, walking with friends, wedding photos, and everything in between.” -Liz Fry Rains, CPF Emerging Leader

I am grateful for how parks connect our past and present. Growing up, parks were a reminder of how important it was to prior generations to make this city beautiful. My mom made sure I noticed that growing up here. Her family has been here for 150 years. Watching my own kids enjoy parks is meaningful in so many ways. Watching this generation continue to prioritize parks and build new parks like Smale to keep our city beautiful makes me proud. Carrie Carothers, Women’s Committee of Cincinnati Parks Co-Chair

My family and I often hike in Cincinnati Parks on Thanksgiving day. This time of year, I’m particularly thankful for the trails in our parks, all the work done on them, both past and present, to build bridges, clear the paths of fallen trees, and all the general maintenance of the 65 miles of trails in our park. Steve Landers, Director of Finance, Cincinnati Parks Foundation

I am thankful that we provide a free place for anyone to feel safe, enjoy nature and connect with the community. Michael Betz, Cincinnati Parks Foundation Board Member

I am grateful for the Cincinnati parks because they provide such beautiful green spaces throughout the community. I can take a walk with my dog in any of our parks to unwind and destress!”-Nikki Blazejewski, CPF Emerging Leaders

I am grateful for open spaces to run and play with my toddler – and the option to enjoy adult time with friends at the Porch in Washington Park!” -Emily Thobe, CPF Emerging Leaders

I’m grateful for the parks that have become outdoor community centers for our neighborhoods and the neighbors who work tirelessly to ensure they are well-cared for and teeming with activity. Jennifer Buchholz, Women’s Committee of Cincinnati Parks Co-Chair

Spending time in our Cincinnati parks provides me an outlet to wash away the stresses of everyday life. To take in the calmness and peacefulness that nature offers. To slow down and think about what really matters most. For this, I am grateful.” -Emily Headley, CPF Emerging Leader

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