26 Feb Park Board Hosts Mt. Airy Forest Community Discussion
As park champions, we recognize these natural resources and the life they sustain must be protected and managed for current and future generations. Additionally, the uses must be balanced and aligned with the needs and desires of the community and the Park Board. In this regard, the Cincinnati Park Board hosted a community meeting at the McKie Recreation Center in Northside to discuss trails in Mt. Airy Forest. Approximately 50 to 60 people attended and represented trail runners, hikers, equestrians, cyclists and people who care about Mt. Airy Forest.
Park Board objectives of the meeting were to:
- Increase access for all user groups
- Maintain/renovate/construct trails sustainably without damaging natural resources
- Attract more trail use
- Respond to trail needs of diverse users
- Respect the park’s historic and natural character
The meeting started with a brief presentation that included trail maps of the park, basic objectives of the Park Board, future trail plans and trail connections around Mt. Airy and the region. The presentation also addressed a proposal for a new bike riding skills park, trail construction standards and depicted typical existing trail conditions and signage. CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRESENTATION.
Then, everyone broke off into small groups to discuss their concerns and make suggestions. CLICK HERE TO READ FEEDBACK THAT WAS COLLECTED.
The feedback focused around:
- Loss of enjoyment of nature
- Safety issues
- Trail etiquette
- Use of mountain bikes in the park
- Use of trails in wet weather
- Increasing traffic to the park
- Encouraging more diverse use of the park and its trails
- Providing opportunities for youth to learn new bike skills
- Access to bridle trails
- Providing directional signs along trails and trail conditions/maintenance.
Upon completion of the small group discussion, highlights were presented to the full group and next steps were put in place. These included reporting back on the meeting results, developing a trails master plan, refining the plan, including more community engagement and finally, presenting the plan publicly at a future Park Board of Commissioners meeting.
Thank you to everyone who attended this community discussion. We look forward to continuing working with the community to improve Mt. Airy Forest’s trail system.
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