Friends of Parks eNews

Spring is just around the corner, and while snow may be on the ground tomorrow, we’re days away from sunshine and blooms with your Cincinnati Parks!

Please read on to learn about many exciting events, projects and opportunities to engage and support the city’s most treasured parks & greenspaces.

In the month of March, we challenge YOU to go visit Mt. Airy Forest and its beautiful Arboretum. Mt. Airy Forest is the largest Cincinnati Park, with over 1,459 acres of beauty. We often refer to Mt. Airy as a forest within a city. Its dedicated 120-acre arboretum is a perfect place to sit on a spring day to view the blooming trees and springtime flowers. You can walk across to a tranquil sensory garden during your visit too.

Get outside and enjoy your Parks!
With sincere gratitude,

Jennifer Hafner Spieser
Executive Director
Cincinnati Parks Foundation, the official philanthropic partner of Cincinnati Parks, is committed to building broad-based private/public partnerships supporting the conservation and enhancement of our city's parks and greenspaces.
Stewards of Burnet Woods
The Stewards of Burnet Woods is a restricted fund under the jurisdiction of the Cincinnati Parks Foundation. The Cincinnati Parks Foundation is the primary philanthropic partner of the Cincinnati Park Board . The fund (and its associated seed funding) was started by the Fink Family - Nora (pictured on the right), Steve, Max and Jake, after attending the community engagements sessions regarding Burnet Woods. They quickly realized how much energy and passion there was for the park, yet no funding to make the much-needed refurbishments and capital improvement s to the park. 

Phase 1 of the Stewards of Burnet Woods capital campaign is a 5 year plan. Years 1-4 raise money for capital improvements to the park and year 5 funds the continued maintenance endowment. The $2.5 million dollar capital figure is based on a financial model we established to fund the deferred accessory structure maintenance needs, proposed capital improvements to the park and to provide, in the 5th year of the campaign, funding for a $500,000 endowment for the continued maintenance of Burnet Woods. 
Nora Fink, Volunteer Fundraising Chair
2019 Year 1: $500,000 (100 Memberships at $5,000 ea.) structure refurbishment/capital improvements 
2020 Year 2: $500,000 (100 Memberships at $5,000 ea.) structure refurbishment/capital improvements 
2021 Year 3: $500,000 (100 Memberships at $5,000 ea.) structure refurbishment/capital improvements  
2022 Year 4: $500,000 (100 Memberships at $5,000 ea.) structure refurbishment/capital improvements 
2023 Year 5: $500,000 (100 Memberships at $5,000 ea.) Continued maintenance endowment funding
The capital campaign structure was created by Cincinnati Parks Foundation and Nora Fink. The list of capital items in need, was provided in draft form by the Cincinnati Park Board, based upon community input, as captured at various community engagement sessions. The fund management fee for the Stewards of Burnet Woods fund by the Cincinnati Parks Foundation is 5% of the total fund value.

Donations in any amount are graciously accepted to the Stewards of Burnet Woods Fund. However, due to the large financial need to refurbish the park, one hundred $5,000.00 memberships are being offered in 2019 to become an official Steward of Burnet Woods. The $5,000.00 donation can be made individually or by the combined contributions of up to five (5) donors. Donors who meet this criteria will be recognized as major donors to Cincinnati Parks, a member of the Cincinnati Park Foundation's Oak Society, and a member of the Stewards of Burnet Woods, which includes communication with the Park Board and exclusive member events. There is also a donor pledge format in which donors who pledge $1,000 a year for 5 years become a Steward of Burnet Woods in Year 5.

The deadline for funding in each calendar year is May 30 of that year. By June 30 of that year, representatives from the Cincinnati Parks Foundation and Cincinnati Park Board will meet with the Stewards of Burnet Woods to make recommendations on how the funding should be spent. The recommendations will be based on the amount of funds collected, previous improvements to the park and reference to Burnet Woods' Master Plan. Final determination of the projects will be made by the Cincinnati Park Board. 
Hats Off Luncheon - Deadline Extended!
We are happy to announce that the deadline for sponsor & host recognition in the 2019 Hats Off Luncheon invitation has been extended to Friday, March 15th at 5:00 pm . Becoming a sponsor or host for the Hats Off Luncheon is simple. Just click on our  Hats Off Registration page  and all the information you need is right there at your finger tips.

This event is the most vital fundraising effort for the Cincinnati Parks Foundation. We hope you’ll be part of what makes this fundraiser the most successful yet. We need you to help us reach our goal of $500,000.

We hope you will join us on May 10th as we raise our glasses to our supporters and spend our day together in one of our most beloved parks, the  John G. & Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront Park . It will be a day of colorful celebration and joy. Thank you for all you do to make our parks and our city such a special place. We can’t wait to see you at this year’s  Hats Off Luncheon .  
Volunteer Spotlight
This month's volunteer spotlight is on Matt McGaha. Matt has been a member of our Emerging Leaders for 2 years and has helped immensely with various projects, including VIews & Brews and Wednesdays in the Woods. The Emerging Leaders are young professionals that help build broad-based partnerships, supporting the conservation & enhancement of our city's parks and greenspaces.

Matt relocated to the Cincinnati area 2 years ago and is a Rental Division Business Manager at Messer Construction Co. He quickly fell in love with Cincinnati Parks and was thrilled about the variety of events that allowed his family the opportunity to "engage in the community and meet some truly wonderful people."

He loves the views from Mt. Storm Park and Mt. Echo Park, as well as all of the events that take place in Washington Park and the Phyllis W. & John G. Smale Riverfront Park. One of his favorite things to do is take his kids to Smale Riverfront Park and run with his son and daughter through the water play area. We are so grateful that he moved to Cincinnati and that he chose to get involved with Cincinnati Parks Foundation. Thank you, Matt, for your leadership and for making such a strong impact in our community!
As a reminder, The Emerging Leaders Committee is proud to announce their 2019 event series. Tickets are available for young professionals ages 21-40 for $125 ($175 after March 30) and include admission to the below events. This is a fantastic way to meet people, join up with friends, and have so much fun while doing so! Please visit our  website to purchase your tickets.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. You can learn more about the benefits and sponsorship levels at our  Emerging Leaders Event Series Sponsorship page.
Mt. Storm Project Update
As many of you know, Mt. Storm Park is being revitalized. We are so grateful to Bob Rack, Fundraising Chair, for his personal advocacy for Mt. Storm Park. Because of him rallying his friends and bringing the community together, Mt. Storm Park is getting the love and attention it so desperately needs. A special shout out to Mary Jo Vesper and her team of volunteers who will help maintain the plantings within the Park. We are confident that we'll be able to bring this project to completion through fundraising. To understand what is the intent of this project, please see below for the goals and objectives.

• To shine a light on Mt. Storm Park as a unique and special place in the park system—emphasizing its history, design, views, special features and landscape as a cohesive story that can be shared with the community

• To rediscover and re-establish some of the original garden design framework and views in order to provide a strong and legible structure to the landscape that is based in the principles of the original Bowler Estate plan by Adolph Strauch

• To use the re-established framework and plant palette as a guide for future plantings and maintenance

• To explore the opportunities of Mt. Storm as a laboratory for the study of landscape design, horticulture, and unique plant communities that are symbiotic and communicative with one another

The below images are a nice visual to help understand the general overview of the project as well as the landscaping plan for the various trees which will be planted. For more information on how you can help and be involved, please contact Jennifer Spieser at (513) 861.0023, or by email at
Butterfly Show is back!
Fabulous Foliage - there's still time!
Show Hours
Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays)
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Admission Fees
Adults $4.00
Youth (5-17) $2.00
Child (4 and under) Free

March Family Events (Included with price of Admission unless otherwise noted)
Spring Orchid Show and Competition, March 9th & 10th, 10am-5pm
Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Orchid Society . Hundreds of orchids will be on display with plants and supplies offered for sale. Local orchid experts will be available to share their knowledge and tips for growing.
End of Show Sale, Tuesday, March 12th, 10am
This is a great opportunity to purchase plants from the spring show. Friends of Krohn can shop early at 8:30am.
Orchid Potting Bee, Sunday March 17th, 1pm-4pm
Local orchid experts will offer free advice and professionally re-pot your orchid!

Butterflies of Ecuador, March 23rd-June 18th, Open Daily 10am-5pm
Did you know?
March is the time of year when we really start to feel like winter is nearing its end. Daylight Saving Time is just around the bend. Don't forget to turn your clock forward one hour on Sunday, March 10th.

The spring equinox falls on Wednesday, March 20th. This event marks the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. With the equinox, we'll get to enjoy the increasing sunlight hours, with earlier dawns and later sunsets.

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the spring equinox will occur on the same day as March's full Moon. Not only that, but it will also be a supermoon, meaning that it will be slightly larger and brighter than most of the other full Moons this year.

So when you're celebrating that spring is upon us, don't forget to look up at the beautiful sky!