26 Jul Top 10 ADA Accessible Features In Cincy Parks
Today marks the 30th year anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Since the inception of this law, the Cincinnati Park Board has made great strides in making our parks accessible to everyone. Currently, Cincinnati Parks offers many accessible features and facilities throughout the city, such as picnic areas, shelters, pathways, gardens and more. But the job is not yet done. We are continually looking for ways to better our parks to meet the needs of everyone.
Below is a list of the Top 10 ADA accessible features of Cincinnati Parks followed by upcoming ADA accessible projects to look out for.
- Everybody’s Treehouse – An accessible treehouse was constructed in 2006 in Mt. Airy Forest affording treetop views for visitors of all abilities. The treehouse is 1,500 square feet and 14 feet off the ground with 6 side ramps connected to 12 trees. It is a testimony to community spirit, built by volunteer labor and donations from several partners, including the Cincinnati Parks Foundation, the Rotary Foundation, WCPO and the Scripps Howard Foundation. Michael Flannery of WCPO helped to spur the idea and gather the many partners. Forever Young Treehouses was involved with the design and build and the Cincinnati Bengals hosted a Hometown Huddle and helped with the pavement leading up to the treehouse. This treehouse is often referred to as the first universally accessible treehouse West of the Alleghenies.
- Bettman Sensory Garden and Pathway – Located in O’Bryonville, this historical outdoor space provides a series of accessible walkways, easy access to an overlook, an accessible picnic table and raised planting beds. We remain grateful to the Cincinnati Parks Foundation who played a key role in funding this important project.
- Our Playgrounds! – New accessible playgrounds were recently constructed at Smale Riverfront Park, Westwood Town Hall Park, Ziegler Park, Washington Park, Belleview Park and Alms Park. Three more are underway in Inwood, Mt. Echo and Burnet Woods.
- Walking Paths – Walking loops and new walkways have been constructed in a number of parks. Sites include Ault Park, Stanbery Park, Alms Park, Bellevue Park, Hoffner Park, Eden Park, Owls, Hopkins Park, Westwood Town Hall Park, Classen Park, Wilson Commons, French Park, Mt. Airy Forest, and Drake Park.
- Krohn Conservatory – Cincinnati’s iconic flora center features a long sloped interior walkway, which provides universal access to the Palm House and the waterfall. And last year in partnership with the Parks Foundation, the Gale garden in honor of Betty Gale was made accessible thanks to the Nelson Schwab Family Foundation.
- Seasongood Pavilion – Eden Park’s outdoor amphitheater is accessible with ramps providing access to seating areas that were previously inaccessible on this steeply sloping site.
- Smale Riverfront Park – Here you will find walkways and park features designed to be enjoyed by all. The park is served by several elevators and accessible routes to and along the river. The Anderson Pavilion and Carol Ann’s Carousel features are also accessible.
- Our Interactive Fountains! – The fountains at Smale Park, Washington Park and Yeatman’s Cove were engineered to be enjoyed by everyone.
- Hyde Park Square – This year, sidewalks in the park were widened to make them accessible, connecting to ramps that were formerly added to this raised park in the center of Hyde Park to make the Square accessible. The project was made possible thanks o the Cincinnati Parks Foundation and many individual community donations.
- Burnet Woods – An accessible fishing station was created at the lake.
Other accessible features in our parks:
- Restrooms – Dozens of Park’s historic “comfort stations” have been renovated to meet accessibility standards.
- Furnishings – Numerous accessible drinking fountains and picnic tables have been added with many more planned.
Current & Upcoming Accessibility Projects
- The Be.Well Program, a partnership between Cincinnati Parks Foundation and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, provides year-round seasonal programming to get terminally ill children, children with disabilities, and their families active outdoors and in our parks.
- New accessible playgrounds will be installed at Inwood Park, Mt. Echo Park and Burnet Woods
Parks are a place where people go to connect with nature, pass time with friends and family and exercise the body and mind. We are proud to provide these opportunities to everybody and we continue to work hard so all people can enjoy and use their parks. There is always more to do and we want to hear from you. If you would like to provide feedback regarding accessibility, please contact us here and select “Facility & Program Accessibility” from the drop down bar or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Cover photo by Sadie Mae