The mission of the Cincinnati Board of Park Commissioners is “to conserve, manage, sustain, and enhance parks’ natural and cultural resources and public greenspace for the enjoyment, enlightenment and enrichment of the Cincinnati community.“ Our vision is to serve as a leader in using Cincinnati parks to build better lives and better communities. The Park Board’s guiding principles are for the parks to be clean, safe, reliable, green, beautiful and enriching.

The Board of Park Commissioners, appointed by the Cincinnati Mayor, has the control and management of the parks and parkways of the city, and the day-to-day operations are under the management of the Park Director. The Board of Park Commissioners has regularly scheduled meetings on the third Thursday of every month, starting at 9:00am at the Park Board Administration Building at 950 Eden Park Drive. Click here for Park Board Meeting agendas and minutes.

The Board of Park Commissioners:

James Goetz, President

Linda Lee Thomas, Vice President

Susan F. Castellini

Brad Lindner

Molly North

The Park Board’s budget includes funding from the City’s General, Capital Improvement and Infrastructure Funds, program and facility fees and charges, a Citywide street tree assessment, investments from private endowments, and Federal State and private grants.

James Goetz

Linda Lee Thomas

Susan F. Castellini

Brad Lindner

Molly North

The Cincinnati Parks includes:


The Director’s Office works with the Board of Park Commissioners to set and implement policies and work programs of Cincinnati Parks and management of approximately 170 full-time employees.

Ms. Kish grew up in Mentor, Ohio and attended Indiana State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in recreation and sport management, with a concentration in community recreation, and a Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University Indianapolis. Kara is pursuing a Ph.D. at Indiana State University and continues to serve as a Lecturer at Indiana State University’s Department of Recreation and Sport Management. Ms. Kish was recently named to the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions.

Prior to being appointed Director of Cincinnati Parks, Ms. Kish, a Certified Park and Recreation Executive, served as Deputy Director of Cincinnati Parks, before she was Superintendent of the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department (Indiana). Kara has earned numerous awards and honors including the Robert W. Crawford National Young Professional Award, given to one professional annually, and the Park Design Award for the Griffin Bike Park (Indiana) by the National Recreation and Park Association. Kara is a Past President of the Indiana Park and Recreation Association, and the Past Chair of the National Recreation and Park Association’s Great Lakes Regional Network.

Kara Kish, Director


As Parks Chief Operating Officer (COO), the Parks Deputy Director provides the oversight, planning, and management of the Park Board and assists the Parks Director in providing leadership and management to divisions comprising over Operations, Facilities, Krohn Conservatory, Special Events and GIS Mapping.

Jenny Mobley, Deputy Director


The Division of Planning, Design and Facilities provides design, planning, engineering and landscape architecture. The division maintains 130 park structures, plans and designs new and enhanced parks, plans infrastructure and landscape projects, and provides support for special projects.

Craig Sherman, Chief Financial Officer (CFO)


The Division of Communications, Engagement and Volunteers manages the Cincinnati Parks communications and public relations efforts, marketing, website, social media, graphic design services, volunteer coordination, oversees guest experience, customer service and reservation of park facilities.

Rocky Merz, Division Manager


The Division of Natural Resources is responsible for urban forestry, land management, conservation, trails, greenspace, and Explore Nature!

Crystal Courtney, Division Manager


The Division of Financial Services manages Parks’ budget, state and federal grant programs, restricted fund endowments, procurement, telecommunications, and automated systems.

Craig Sherman, Chief Financial Officer (CFO)