The Clermont County Commissioners have proclaimed the month of July as Parks and Recreation Month in the county, citing the importance of the park system in establishing and maintaining the quality of life in our community.
“This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Clermont County Park District,” said Clermont Park District Director Chris Clingman. “Numerous partnerships, donations, and philanthropic events have enabled the park system to grow from the original 23 to over 500 acres today.”
The Clermont Park District includes five parks, two nature preserves, four river reserves, 2.5 miles of bike trail, two green spaces, plus a new park that is currently under development on Tealtown Road.
"Sycamore Park tripled in size in 2009 with the acquisition of the Wilson Nature Preserve," said Clingman. The preserve features a 25-acre island, three miles of hiking trails, and two miles of beautiful shoreline along the East Fork of the Little Miami River.
Aletheia Pattison donated the land and the lodge that form Pattison Park. This 45 acre park along US 50 near Owensville also features a large gazebo that hosts numerous weddings each year.
"A little further up the road is the Hartman log cabin," said Clingman. "It's a popular spot for family reunions and bridal showers. The five acre property also offers a picnic shelter and a walking trail that accesses a pioneer cemetery.
"The Chilo Lock #34 Park is probably one of the county's best kept secrets. People are amazed when they see what we have here," laughed Clingman.
The 39-acre park, located off US 52 in the Village of Chilo, occupies the site of a former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lock and dam on the Ohio River. The focal point is a three story brick visitor's center and museum with hands on activities for young and old alike.
The Clermont Park District also offers numerous free and low-cost nature programs that are very popular.
"From nature walks, story times and pancake breakfasts, to nature photography classes, we have something for everyone," said Clingman.
For a list of Clermont Parks locations and events, visit the Web site www.parks.ClermontCountyOhio.gov
A video of the Clermont parks 40th anniversary is currently airing on Time Warner Cable Television access channels throughout the county.