Source: The Clermont Sun
Green Umbrella announced five new ‘Greenspace Gems’ this week as part of its initiative to celebrate the region’s wealth of ecologically significant natural areas. Recognized for their outstanding scenic value and biological diversity, the five follow 15 additional areas named since 2018.
Cincinnati ranks eighth in the nation for the accessibility, acreage, investment and amenities of its city park system by the Trust for Public Lands’ ParkScore. But the high-quality greenspace extends far outside of city limits. In Hamilton County, 83% of residents live within a 10 minute walk of protected greenspace. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, access to greenspace offers a variety of public health benefits such as stress reduction, increased mindfulness and creativity, and prevention of chronic diseases.
Launched in 2018, Greenspace Gems is an initiative of Green Umbrella’s Greenspace Action Team. The program recognizes and celebrates natural areas in Green Umbrella’s 10-county region with outstanding scenic value, biological diversity, scientific importance or historic interest. Gems are selected by a team of conservation experts to showcase the region’s variety of unique natural sites. By telling the stories of these protected places, the initiative aims to grow public support for greenspace conservation and the organizations who are leading this work in our region.
“The Greenspace Gems program highlights those places in the tri-state area that provide the highest quality experiences for visitors,” said Andy Dickerson, executive director of Cardinal Land Conservancy and co-chair of the Greenspace Action Team. “Whether you’re hiking for your health, birdwatching, fishing or discovering new plant and animal species, the Greenspace Gems locally represent ‘nature’s bucket list’.”
The sites named in the fourth round of Greenspace Gems are:
· Visitors of Crooked Run Nature Preserve, in Clermont County, will find breathtaking river views, two miles of trails and a great spot to watch over 200 bird species.
· Halls Creek Woods State Nature Preserve in Warren County, Ohio offers visitors the 4 F’s – forest, fossils, flowers and falls!
· With over 65 acres of forest, Harris M. Benedict Botanical Preserve in Hamilton County, Ohio was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1977.
· The restored wetlands at Shaker Trace make this Hamilton County, Ohio site a birding hotspot.
· Valley View, in Clermont County, is a rescued historic farm that boasts a variety of habitats.
For more information on the newest round of gems or to learn more about ways to nominate a Greenspace Gem visit their website.