14 May Thank Goodness For Our Parks
Throughout our history, your Cincinnati parks have stood as a beacon of health, hope, and community pride during difficult and often uncertain times including two world wars, riots, the dirt ridden industrial age, recessions and even a depression. Now, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world, a new chapter in Cincinnati Parks storied history is being written. Even the great founding visionaries of Cincinnati Parks, Adolph Strauch and George Kessler, could not have imagined this day; however, they prepared us for it.
Cincinnati’s Parks were originally created as oases in the midst of an industrialized city. A place anyone could go to enjoy clean air and an environment free from pollution. Today, during this global health crisis, we are fortunate to have so many parks scattered throughout Cincinnati continuing to fulfill this original purpose of providing open greenspace and a healthy environment.
In fact, it is during these times, the essential role of parks in our community shines even brighter. Parks are a public good, non-exclusionary and non-rivalrous. As an essential government service, well-maintained, safe and accessible parks are open to every citizen in every corner of the City. Cincinnati Parks comprise five thousand acres, over 10% of city-owned land. These spaces belong to all of us. They exist to improve your quality of life and to offer a place of recreation and respite. Today, more than ever before in our lifetimes, the critical value of public parks is clearly evident.
This is possible thanks to our dedicated and talented staff who are working to keep our parks safe during this crisis. They are cleaning restrooms, picking up litter, emptying the trash and monitoring and encouraging proper public health safety measures such as social distancing. This is being done so our parks may remain open as a cathartic natural outlet during these challenging times where we are all so unnaturally asked to remain physically isolated from one another.
And whenever this is all over, parks will maintain their essential service to the community by creating economic impacts, advancing conservation, rejuvenating health and wellness, enhancing quality of life, and supporting social equity. What a different city this would be without the benefits and experiences possible thanks to our parks. So many of us have fond memories of spending time in our favorite park, attending a signature concert or event like Riverfest, receiving a free tree to plant at our home or participating in a nature education program as a child.
As we pull through this health crisis we want you to know, with the help of our thousands of volunteers and partners like the Cincinnati Parks Foundation, your Cincinnati Parks will still be here, serving you every day.
On behalf of the Cincinnati Park Board and our entire amazing team, thank you for your continued support of the Cincinnati Parks. I invite you to be safe, practice social distancing
and re-create your spirit in your Cincinnati Parks, just as generations of Cincinnatians have done during good times and bad.
Click here for a complete listing of our COVID 19 Updates.
Kara Kish, MPA, CPRE, CPSI | Director