Want to volunteer but too busy to make a long term commitment? In addition to our fabulous team of more than 700 Great Parks Volunteers, the Great Parks of Hamilton County welcomes individuals and groups that want to help on a one-time basis. Projects usually last two to four hours and are generally focused on habitat restoration, trail maintenance and litter and waterway cleanups.
Great Parks is proud to be a lead partner in the tree planting initiative Taking Root. The mission is to replace, retain and expand the region’s tree canopy with a goal to plant two million trees by 2020. That is one tree for each resident in the eight-county tri-state area! The initiative was created in response to the ongoing threat on our region’s trees created by the emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, bush honeysuckle and other invasive species. By planting trees, we can reduce the threat and help grow a healthy and diverse tree environment. Great Parks is pledging to plant 60,000 trees over the next three years as part of Taking Root’s goal. Join us in our mission to save our trees!
Walking, running, biking and horseback riding encourage family fun and healthy lifestyles. Great Parks works tirelessly to maintain and improve more than 70 miles of nature, paved hike/bike and horse trails in our parks, as well as an exciting 8-mile mountain bike trail at Mitchell Memorial Forest. Get fit and have fun while helping with invasive plant removal, erosion control, brush and limb removal and trail expansions.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources estimates that 11,772 tons of litter is dropped on Ohio roadways annually. In 2013, approximately 2.4 tons of litter was removed from Winton Woods alone! Great Parks manages over 16,500 acres of land across the greater Cincinnati area with more than 80% set aside to preserve wetlands, forests and wildlife. Your help is needed to ensure that this protected land is free of litter and debris that could threaten plants and wildlife. Sign up now for one of our many litter pick-ups taking place.
Wetlands are the most productive ecosystem in North America. They provide vital nesting and foraging areas for birds, small mammals and invertebrates, spawning areas for many important fish and shellfish and habitat for unique vegetation. They also serve as storage areas for floodwater, buffers to storms, protection from erosion and filters for sedimentation and other forms of environmental contamination. Since pioneer times, 95% of Ohio's wetlands have been lost, making them one of our most endangered ecosystems. Approximately 33% of Ohio's endangered and threatened plants and animals live in wetland habitat. Great Parks of Hamilton County has restored 120 acres of former wetland habitat at Miami Whitewater Forest. You can help, too, by volunteering for a wetland restoration project.
River & Stream Habitats
Streams and riparian corridors and are home to a multitude of wildlife including fish, amphibians, waterfowl and birds of prey, including the bald eagle. These waterways are habitat for some of the region’s most imperiled species, but also provide recreational opportunities for surrounding communities and feed important sources of clean drinking water. Great Parks is home to many creeks and rivers and is dedicated to protecting these resources both inside and outside park boundaries. You can help by signing up for one of our riverbank or stream cleanups today!