Research, Surveys & Monitoring
Great Parks of Hamilton County has a long history of collaborating with researchers to conduct natural resource-related studies.
If you are interested in conducting research at Great Parks, begin by completing this form.
All fields in the form are mandatory, if applicable, and must provide sufficient detail or a review may be delayed. Applicants will be notified of the status of their application within two weeks of submission and will be assigned a project contact at Great Parks. Some activities may warrant additional levels of documentation and review (e.g., work in particularly sensitive areas, collection of vertebrates or endangered species, or use of heavy equipment). If activities are approved, the researcher will be emailed a signed approval letter from the Great Parks of Hamilton County Natural Resources team. This signed letter must be carried by the researcher as proof to Park Rangers that the necessary approval has been granted.
If you experience any technical difficulties with the online submittal form, or have any other questions, please email us.
Biological Stream Monitoring
Biological Stream Monitoring supplements water quality data by determining what aquatic invertebrates are found in a stream.
Since some invertebrates (small creatures without a backbone) are sensitive to pollutants and others are tolerant, different types are assigned point values that correspond to their pollution tolerance. A sensitive invertebrate, such as a mayfly nymph, is worth three points. A moderately tolerant type, such as a crayfish, is worth two points. A tolerant type, such as a sowbug, is worth only one point. The total score of a given stream will indicate how good the water quality is. Streams that support populations of a variety of invertebrates from all three groups score highest and are therefore of the best quality. Biological stream monitoring is conducted by volunteers.
Those interested in assisting with stream monitoring can call 513-521-7275 or email us.
With more than 13,000 acres set aside by Great Parks as natural areas, managing for the widest biodiversity is a challenge. To understand the various habitats and help us prioritize our resources, Great Parks has embarked on an ambitious series of biological surveys to evaluate aquatic and terrestrial habitat. The surveys are based on using indicator species to tell us the relative health of each habitat. An indicator species is a plant or animal whose presence or absence in an area indicates certain environmental conditions.
Assessment sites are randomly selected in each of Great Parks’ habitats, where we identify the species present and their abundance. We assign a measurable value to each site and rank them to identify those areas most in need of protection or improvement. This process will help Great Parks provide habitat for a wider variety of plants and animals.
Great Parks staff and volunteers have conducted vegetative cover mapping of most of the Great Parks to help determine the number of acres or percentages of each habitat type found in our parks. This is helpful information when determining habitat type needs for various wildlife populations. Color coded maps can be generated for each park showing the different habitat types.