Part of Great Parks of Hamilton County’s mission is to preserve and protect natural resources.

That mission extends to educating the public about the importance of natural resource conservation and ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. For this reason, sustainability is a guiding value of the organization, and it is incorporated into all decision making and day-to-day processes.

Upcoming Events

  • 2030 District Members

    In June of 2021, Great Parks designated three destinations to be part of the Cincinnati 2030 District, committing to reducing building operational emissions, building water consumption, and transportation emissions by 50% by the year 2030. The vision of the 2030 District Network is to establish a global network of thriving high-performance building districts and cities, uniting communities to catalyze transformation in the build environment and its role in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Learn more about the 2030 District Network here:

  • Fleet

    Great Parks has reduced its fleet overall, while replacing older, less-efficient cars with hybrid or electric models. In accordance with Great Parks’ commitment to the 2030 District, all-electric golf and utility carts and electric equipment is being phased in as equipment ages and budget allows.

  • Sustainable Building Design

    Winton Woods Campground

    The Winton Woods Campground Office, built in 2009, features many green building practices, such as geothermal heating and cooling, dual flush toilets, sensor faucets, high-efficiency hand dryers, recycled metal roofing (reflective material decreases energy costs for cooling) and certified lumber and wood products, as well as rain gardens to filter parking lot runoff.

    Miami Whitewater Forest Campground Shower Building

    The Miami Whitewater Forest Campground shower building and building upgrades at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve also incorporate many green features, such as low-flow plumbing fixtures, energy-efficient lighting fixtures and use of natural lighting, high-efficiency water heaters, a water bottle filling station and the use of green building materials and low-VOC paints and adhesives.

  • Solar Power

    In Spring 2016, Great Parks completed the installation of a rooftop solar array at the Winton Woods central operations maintenance building. The 52 kilowatt system is expected to generate an annual average of 63,000 kilowatt hours of energy, reducing the annual energy consumption at this facility by 95% and offsetting approximately 2.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 25 years. 

    The solar project at Winton Woods will ultimately lead to additional solar projects at other facilities, resulting in greater energy savings and emission reductions for the park district. The project was funded by generous grants from the Great Parks Forever, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the Robert H. Reakirt Foundation, PNC Bank, Trustee. 

    Want to see the energy savings in action? Click below!

    solar monitoring

  • Landfill Diversion

    Great Parks partners with Queen City Commons and GoZERO to divert food waste, with Rumpke Recycling to divert more than 65 tons of recycling annually, and with Cohen to divert electronic waste and holiday lights during special events available to the public throughout the year.

  • Sustainable Land Use


    More than 80% of Great Parks’ over 18,000 acres of land are managed as natural areas to preserve biodiversity and promote wildlife diversity. Preserving wetlands, forests, and streams provides benefits to the entire community, including improvements to air and water quality.

    Mindul Mowing

    Great Parks also practices "mindful mowing" of the parks' public areas. Reducing the amount of mowing reduces associated fuel and labor costs, which can be directed towards more detailed care of our many recreational facilities and outdoor education areas. These more natural areas also serve as woodland, meadow and grassland habitats for local wildlife.

    Taking Root

    Great Parks is a proud leader of the regional Taking Root reforestation campaign. The initiative was created in response to the ongoing threat on our region’s trees created by hostile bugs, invasive plants, and destructive fungi. By planting trees, we can reduce the threat and help grow a healthy and diverse tree environment. Great Parks pledged to plant 60,000 trees by 2016 as part of the overall goal of two million for the region by 2020. On October 22, 2016, Great Parks exceeded that goal by planting its 100,000th tree.

  • Water

    Golf Courses

    Great Parks is always looking for ways to reduce water consumption, especially at its six golf courses. One way to accomplish this is through irrigation technology improvements at all courses for efficient system management and monitoring. A moisture meter is being tested at The Vineyard Golf Course to reduce water consumption and save labor on hand watering. Great Parks is also studying the use of a water retention and penetration agent at Little Miami Golf Center. This agent will reduce utility consumption up to 30% (water and electric) as well as reducing chemical treatments needed for poor turf conditions and turf diseases.

    Water Quality

    Improving water quality is another important objective. Bioswales were installed at Winton Woods as well as the dog parks at both Otto Armleder Memorial Park and Miami Whitewater Forest. Rain gardens were installed at Winton Woods (Parky’s Farm, Winton Centre, campground), Shawnee Lookout (bird viewing area), Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve and Sharon Woods. These spots serve as filters for stormwater water to keep pollutants out of our local streams, rivers and lakes.

  • Holiday Lights Recycling

    Have your holiday lights lost their twinkle? Recycling holiday lights instead of throwing them in the trash keeps them out of landfills and gives them a new life. Thanks to a partnership with Cohen, Great Parks is able to provide six convenient drop-off locations where the lights will be collected and recycled for you. The light recycling program starts December 1st and runs to February 1st.

    Learn More
  • Cellphone Recycling

    Great Parks, in partnership with Eco-Cell, offers 10 drop-off locations for old or broken electronic waste. Items such as cell phones, smart phones, iPads, iPods, tablets, GPS, smartwatches, digital cameras, and all the cords that comes with them, are acceptable. For more information about Eco-Cell and their mission, please visit their website.

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