May 17–20, 2020
Welcome to Great Parks of Hamilton County! We are excited to be hosting the Special Park District Forum 2020 and to have you experience over 17,600 acres of parkland that crowns the Queen City. During your stay, you will learn our history, visit unique park areas and facilities, observe our day-to-day operations and experience fun programs and activities. We look forward to your visit!
Entire Forum Registration
May 17–20, 2020Cost: $600
Daily Forum Registration
Sign up for a single dayCost: $250
Hello from the Midwest!
Great Parks of Hamilton County is honored to host the 2020 Special Park District Forum and is ready to welcome you to the greater Cincinnati region. Since its founding in 1930, Great Parks has established one of the state’s largest and most diverse inventories of parks, nature preserves and conservation areas. Great Parks currently manages more than 17,600 acres of green space, including 25 miles of river frontage along ecologically important and recreationally valuable riparian corridors.
Your time at Great Parks will comprise of visits to some of our 21 parks and nature preserves to experience our programs and amenities, which include 78 miles of trails. We will also spend some time behind the scenes visiting operation centers and seeing in-progress construction projects. With 83% of our land preserved as undeveloped natural areas, we will explore and connect with diverse native wildlife and vegetative habitats in some of our distinctive conservation areas.
We look forward to seeing you May 17-20, 2020! Plan to come early or stay late to connect with nature in our parks, or to connect with the heritage, culture and personality of Greater Cincinnati.
Chief Executive Officer
Great Parks of Hamilton County
Please join us at the 2020 Special Park District forum hosted by Great Parks of Hamilton County! Your stay with us will include three days of experiences, learning and networking as you visit parks, preserves and facilities in our three park district regions.
Your first day will be an exploration of our West Region including a visit to our native seed nursery at Miami Whitewater Forest where we cultivate native plants for land management and restoration projects. Also in Miami Whitewater Forest, you will experience a wagon ride through various native habitats then explore recreation amenities at the harbor. The day will include a driving tour of the Whitewater River Corridor to hear about riparian corridor protection and a visit to Shawnee Lookout, where you will enjoy interactive cultural and historical programs including an experiential hike to a Native American fort. The evening will be highlighted by dinner and awards with The National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO).
On day two of our journey, you will experience the East Region starting with Nature Center at The Summit, a new public-private partnership that is connecting Great Parks with the urban neighborhoods of Cincinnati. Other stops include our oldest park, Sharon Woods, to explore spectacular geological landscapes along a gorge trail, and Lake Isabella, with new primitive camping that has access to a national scenic river and fishing lake. Along the Little Miami River Corridor, you will have the opportunity to choose fun activities such as pedaling, paddling, golf or exploration of a nature preserve. The day would not be complete without a walk on our newest shared-use trail to visit a local brewery. Dinner will be on your own with lots of great options in downtown Cincinnati, including the historic Over the Rhine district.
Day three will take us to the Central Region with a hands-on experience at Parky’s Farm in Winton Woods and optional opportunities of adventure-based team building activities, touring a campground, horseback riding or a nature hike. Part of the day will be spent at Glenwood Gardens, which features discovery and programming in our children’s garden and experiencing unique habitats along the park’s trails. The final day will wrap up with a celebration dinner and ceremony for the 2021 host.
A final itinerary and schedule will be provided as we get closer to the event, so be sure to check back for more details!
Travel & Accommodations
Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
35 West Fifth Street, Cincinnati, Oh 45202-2899
Tel: 513-421-9100, Fax: 513-421-4291
Reservations: 1-800-HILTONS or at https://book.passkey.com/go/GPHMay2020, use group code: GPH
*Reservations are being accepted now through April 17, 2020
The Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza is located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati at the corner of Fifth and Race Streets. It is easily accessible from Interstates I-71 and I-75. The hotel’s luggage, valet and self-parking options are on the left side of Race Street between Fifth and Fourth Streets. Please use 418 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202 for your GPS destination (please note: this is not the hotel’s mailing address).
Directions - From Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport to Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza: Take I-275 East to I-75 North. Take 5th Street Exit and go 3 blocks east to Race. To park, turn right on Race. Luggage drop off on left. Valet & self-parking just past doorman on left. Valet under green arrow & self-parking in Mabley Garage.
Travel options between airport and hotel
Type Typical Minimum Charge Limousine $125 Super Shuttle $24 Rental Car varies Taxi $34
Stay updated with the local forecast.
Nominations are now being accepted for the NACPRO 2020 awards program. The annual NACPRO Awards Banquet recognizes and honors excellence in parks and recreation at the county, regional, and special district level throughout the nation.
The presentation of awards will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio during the Special Park District Forum, on May 18 at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherlands Hotel.
Award nominations will be submitted through an online form. Nominations submitted via email or postal mail will not be considered.
There is no limit to the number of award nominations you can submit.
Previous awarded individuals and projects are not eligible for nomination within their awarded category. Nominations that competed in the preceding year, but were unsuccessful, may be submitted again.
The deadline for award submissions is February 21, 2020. A non-refundable fee of $75 per nomination is required.
Award nominations are accepted only from agencies that have a NACPRO member. Not sure if your agency has a member? Call or email Brenda at (814) 927-8212 or Brenda@nacpro.org. Once your agency has an active member, you will have access to the online form with your member’s username and password.
You will be notified of the disposition of your award nomination by March 27, 2020. Awardees are expected to attend the awards banquet to be recognized and accept their award in person.
See page 4 for instructions on how to prepare and submit your award nomination.
For more information: Brenda Adams-Weyant at (814) 927-8212 or Brenda@nacpro.org