Neighborhood Parks Campaign in 2022

Cincinnati Parks touch all 52 neighborhoods within the city, and as any Cincinnatian knows, each neighborhood and its parks are unique. This is why in 2018, the Cincinnati Parks Foundation started the Neighborhood Parks Campaign to focus on capital improvement and unique programming of neighborhood parks.

A Look Back on the Campaign’s Success

Since 2018, several micro fundraising initiatives for neighborhood parks have been completed. Here is a brief look at those park projects and programs that have benefited communities around town.

  • Bellevue Hill Park (CUF Neighborhood): Thanks to a generous anonymous donation in 2018, Bellevue Hill Park received $60,000 for trail restoration and improvements.
  • be.well Program (City-Wide): This program creates engaging programming for children with disabilities and their families. Seasonal programs are offered at Smale Riverfront Park and several neighborhood parks.
  • Burnet Woods (Clifton, Corryville, CUF Neighborhoods): Through the generosity of our donors (Stewards of Burnet Woods) over $100,000 was used to create free community programming, and several capital improvements. Enhancements included new lighting, bike racks, ADA accessible picnic tables, trail renovations, and more.
  • CPAC Grant Program (City-Wide Impact): From Eastside to Westside, these CPAC grants support different Cincinnati Parks Advisory Council’s family-friendly, accessible programs. Programs range from outdoor movie nights to silent discos, and more.
  • Fairview Park (CUF Neighborhood): In 2019, Cincinnati Parks Foundation distributed a grant to enhance the lighting and improve safety in Fairview Park.
  • Hyde Park Square (Hyde Park Neighborhood): Cincinnati Park Board, Cincinnati Parks Foundation, and private donors funded the renovation of the Center Island Park in Hyde Park Square. Completed in 2020, improvements included a new safety barrier, tree planting, fresh sod, and additional flower beds.
  • Inwood Park (Mt. Auburn Neighborhood): Thanks to PNC Bank’s gift of $150,000, a universally accessible playground (the PNC Grow Up Great Playground) and walking loop was added to the park in 2021. In addition, MadTree Brewing contributed and planted 40 new trees and removed invasive species.
  • Mt. Echo Park (Price Hill Neighborhood): Cincinnati Parks Foundation worked with community partners to make improvements at Mt. Echo Park. These improvements included restoration of the historic stone steps and a tree planting of the new “Path of Life.”
  • Nature Next Door (Avondale, Clifton Neighborhoods): Cincinnati Parks Foundation offers $25,000 yearly to support Cincinnati Parks’ Nature Next Door Program. This program brings nature education and outreach into underserved neighborhoods.

Coming To Neighborhood Parks in 2022

This year, the campaign will continue to do good work around the city. Focusing on enhancement, activation, or conservation, projects and programs serve a variety of needs.

  • be.well Program with Cincinnati Childen’s Hospital (City-Wide): This partnership with Children’s Hospital provides free, year-round seasonal programming to get children with disabilities and their families active in neighborhood parks. The program won the 1st Place Award of Excellence for Adaptive Programming from the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association in 2020 and 2021, as well as being a finalist for their Governor’s Award in 2021.
  • CPAC Grant Program (City-Wide Impact): From Eastside to Westside, these CPAC grants support different Cincinnati Parks Advisory Council’s family-friendly, accessible programs. Programs range from outdoor movie nights to silent discos, and more.
  • Everybody in #CincyParks (City-Wide): This partnership with Luke5Adventures offers free adaptive hiking opportunities with special all-terrain wheelchairs. In 2021, a pilot of the program was named “Everybody in Mt. Airy” and only occurred in that park. After a very successful year, the program is expanding to several neighborhood parks.
  • Fall Releaf Program (City-Wide with a focus on low-canopy neighborhoods): Cincinnati Parks Foundation, and other generous donors support Cincinnati Parks’ Fall ReLeaf Program each year. Annually, this program gives Cincinnati homeowners and CPS schools free trees plant in their yards. Neighborhoods with less than 40% tree canopy are prioritized (such as Lower Price Hill, Evanston, or Bond Hill).
  • Honeyblasters Program (City-Wide): New this year, Cincinnati Parks Foundation will be hosting crews of “Honeyblaster” volunteers to remove litter, honeysuckle, and other invasive species from neighborhood Cincinnati Parks. One such park is Miles Edwards Park in Lower Price Hill.
  • Laurel Park (West End Neighborhood): This project includes the installation and programming of an Ezzard Charles statue and plaza, plus free programming and tree plantings. Several aspects of the project have been completed. In 2020, MadTree Brewing planted over 100 trees in the park and neighborhood. Ezz Fest continues to grow every year in partnership with Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses. The Ezzard Charles Statue and plaza will be installed in 2022.
  • MadTree Plantings (MLK Park, Avondale Neighborhood): Continuing the multi-year tradition of plantings at Mt. Storm, Laurel, and Inwood Parks, we again join MadTree Brewing to plant trees at MLK Park.
  • Mt. Airy Forest (Mt. Airy, Westwood Neighborhoods): Projects include new accessible play equipment across from Everybody’s Treehouse and the addition of the CORA mountain bike skills course. ntain bike skills course. Once complete, the course will include two major features: a ½-mile beginner skills course, and a ½-mile beginner natural surface trail course, both accessible to cyclists of all levels.
  • Smale Expansion (Riverfront, Central Business District): Revitalizing pavement into an event lawn, gardens, and tree groves beside the Andrew J. Brady Music Center, this is the next step to complete Smale Riverfront Park. Phase one was completed in 2021 and fundraising is expected to conclude in 2022.