By Ryan Mooney-Bullock, Green Umbrella Executive Director
Dear Friends for Great Parks,
Green Umbrella’s Board of Trustees has elected to endorse the Great Parks of Hamilton County 0.95 mill property tax levy on the ballot this November. Tri-State Trails’ (an initiative of Green Umbrella) Executive Committee has also voted to endorse the levy.
Great Parks’ Master Plan is committed to increasing conservation of critical greenspace, educating the public about the natural environment and what they can do to protect it, increasing the sustainability of the park district’s operations and increasing access to quality greenspace for all people in our county. All of these priorities help achieve Green Umbrella’s vision for a resilient, sustainable region for all.
Great Parks serves as a biological reserve that protects 17,742 acres of land in the county, including 9,800 acres of forest, 2,000 acres of grassland, and 600 acres of wetland. While residents may be most familiar with the “developed” harbors, shelters, playgrounds and other outdoor recreation facilities, more than 80% of the land is kept as natural area and managed for biological diversity and benefits of wildlife. As the County’s largest land holder, Great Parks plays a critical role in protecting the environmental quality and biological diversity of our entire region. These forests, wetlands and other ecological features serve as the lungs and sponges for all of us: absorbing carbon and stormwater and sharing clean air and water with all of us.
Additionally, Great Parks is a key partner in building out a connected regional trails network. Great Parks has taken the lead to connect the Little Miami Scenic Trail, our region’s longest trail and the southern leg of the Ohio to Erie Trail, to downtown Cincinnati. Through their Master Plan process, Great Parks has heard that expanding trails—and connecting park destinations with a regional trail and greenway network—is a top priority of Hamilton County voters. We know they will continue their track record of building and maintaining high quality trail experiences for generations to come.
For these reasons, Green Umbrella believes it is critical that Great Parks has access to the financial resources to turn its Master Plan into reality. The 0.95 mill levy before Hamilton County voters this November is a chance for our community to invest in protecting our natural resources, increasing access to outdoor experiences and time in nature, and connecting our trails network… all of which improve health and quality of life in Hamilton County.
Executive Director, Green Umbrella