Conservation

Great Parks Foundation is committed to enhancing conservation initiatives at Great Parks of Hamilton County, such as habitat restoration, species preservation, land acquisition, and more. With support from individuals, corporate sponsors, and grantmakers, the Foundation has funded a variety of projects. Read about a few of these projects below and use the Contribute button to invest in conservation today.

 

Great Parks of Hamilton County is working to save the monarch butterfly.  Monarchs are in a critical decline, due to habitat loss throughout their range.  In our region, they depend on several species of milkweed plants to serve as the host plant for monarch caterpillars, as well as milkweed flowers for nectaring areas by adult monarchs. Great Parks’ is in a unique position to raise large amounts of milkweed seed, having access to a native genotype plant source, nursery facility, dedicated staff, and volunteers committed to native plant restoration. Currently  volunteers clean milkweed seed by hand, where scores of volunteers sit and pull the fluff off each seed.

Great Parks Foundation helped to purchase a de-bearder, a machine that removes the fluff much quicker and easier than hand cleaning. The result is a dramatic increase in the number of milkweed seeds that are distributed across the region to create more habitats for monarch butterflies.

 

Great Parks’ Natural Resource Division was awarded $11,000 to purchase a new utility vehicle and trailer to be used in conservation and stewardship projects. This utility vehicle has allowed the Natural Resources Division to increase from one to two teams working simultaneously in the field. It has allowed for better efficiency in controlled prairie burns and invasive plant management this spring. It will also allow for better productivity in removing invasive honeysuckle in the fall.
 
Great Parks’ Trail Management Team was awarded $20,000 for the purchase of a new compact utility tractor to manage and maintain nature trails throughout Great Parks. The tractor includes a front bucket, box blade, bush hog and scoop, which has taken staff from weed whips and hand shovels to efficiency in mowing trails and laying gravel. The features on the tractor are helping staff manage time more efficiently and providing a pleasant trail experience for park guests. 
 
 
Great Parks of Hamilton County is proud to be a lead partner in the tree planting initiative Taking Root. The mission is to replace, retain and expand trees in the Greater Cincinnati tri-state region with a goal to plant two million trees by 2020.
 

The initiative was created in response to the ongoing threat on our regions trees that the emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, bush honeysuckle and other culprits, have created. By planting trees, we reduce the threat of invasive species and help grow a healthy and diverse tree environment.

Great Parks Foundation was proud to support Great Parks’ pledge to plant 60,000 trees within three years. Together, Great Parks and the Foundation exceeded the goal in well under three years. In 2016 Great Parks planted the 100,000th tree!