Parks Breaks Ground On The Tom Jones Commons

Cincinnati Parks Foundation, with the City of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Park Board, officially broke ground on October 28, 2019 for the new Tom Jones Commons. Thanks to a gift from donor Tom Jones, over half a million dollars worth of improvements will develop the lower reservoir area at Eden Park.

A large crowd of parks supporters, City officials, Tom Jones’ family and Park Board staff gathered in Eden Park to celebrate the groundbreaking. Through a lifting dense fog, remarks were given from:

The ceremony was concluded when the speakers broke ground, officially kicking off the first phase of the Tom Jones Commons project.


Tom Jones was a long-time resident of Mount Adams who took regular walks through Eden Park. Over the years, he got to know many of the park employees working there. In particular, Tom grew close with then park manager, Casey McCann. “I really got to know all of [the Eden Park staff]. It was the friendly waves, the friendly greetings that really made Eden Park special to me. I felt like part of the family… I became part of the park, thanks to those people,” Tom said. These special relationships and his fondness for Eden Park inspired Tom to give back to his neighborhood “backyard.”

For the last two years, Tom has worked with the Cincinnati Parks Foundation and Cincinnati Park Board on selecting a spot within Eden Park where his gift could be impactful. Development of the lower reservoir area was a project identified in the 2007 Cincinnati Parks Master Plan.


The Tom Jones Commons will include a walking loop, improved landscaping, trees and connectivity from the lower reservoir area to Seasongood Pavilion and Mirror Lake. The Cincinnati Park Board has outlined two phases of completion for the Commons. Tom’s generous gift will help finish Phase One.

Phase One- A (Current Phase):

  • Wetlands and Boardwalk
  • Walkways to wetlands area
  • Landscaping of entire area
  • Drainage
  • Connection to Mirror Lake
  • Natural Play area

Phase One- B: 

  • Finish walking loop
  • Interpretive signs about the park’s history and wildlife
  • Benches
  • Picnic tables

Phase Two (Proposed): 

  • Informational kiosks
  • Swing set
  • Shelters
  • Enhanced climbing area