To the Citizens of Cincinnati

To the Citizens of Cincinnati

First and most importantly, we stand with and behind the leaders of our top rated urban park system. Please read on to learn more.

There has never been a better time to live and work in Cincinnati. It has become a city transformed; a vital, vibrant, growing and thriving center of extraordinary community life and experience. Few would argue that this is due in very large measure to the hard work and extraordinary accomplishments of the Cincinnati Park Board and its director, Willie F. Carden, Jr.

We have a top rated parks system run by dedicated, ethical people. It is unfortunate that the integrity of our nationally recognized parks system is being called into question by some to defeat the Cincinnati Parks levy.

Under Mr. Carden’s flawless leadership, Smale Riverfront Park rose on our historic riverfront to become an iconic destination park—instantaneously. It attracts millions of visitors annually and brings in tens of millions of dollars into our local economy.

Carden led the planning, design, development and construction of the 45-acre park, and managed to raise over $43 million in private donations to supplement federal, state and local funding— even during the nation’s worst economic downturn in decades.

The private donations allowed the park to be constructed with the creative and compelling amenities that have made the park a sterling success. The fountains, playgrounds, the swings, the carousel, public art installations and gardens were all paid for with the private dollars Carden raised.

Washington Park was renovated and it too attracts over one million new visitors annually and has served to leverage the revitalization of Over-the-Rhine.

And there’s more—much more. Under Carden’s leadership, the Park Board constructed Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park, which was the catalyst for significant real estate development along Riverside drive.  The 2007 Master Plan was developed and approved by Cincinnati City Council. And the Park Board successfully raised the dollars necessary to construct the Greater Cincinnati Fire Fighters Memorial Park.

The Park Board annually returns 82 cents on every dollar spent through revenues, programs, volunteers, events and CAM charges. Additionally, an average of $1.2 million in operating costs are avoided annually due to utilizing the managed competition process.

The Park Board mandates a monthly financial report of all park divisions, sections and programs and is presented publicly during monthly board meetings.

In addition to the economic benefits the city enjoys from the work of the Park Board, our community’s quality of life and experience has been significantly enriched.

Wallet Hub recently named Cincinnati the best city in the country for parks and recreation.

Cincinnati Parks are top rated by the national Trust for Public Land.

Gizmodo rated Washington Park the “coolest” new park and public space in the United States.

Cincinnati has also been named as one of the best walking cities by Prevention Magazine due to its parks.

The Park Board was also awarded the architectural foundation award in 2015.


The Cincinnati Board of Park Commissioners