By Ed Richter
Vistors to Miami Woods Park in Hamilton will notice a number of trail improvements this year thanks to a new partnership.
This week, MetroParks of Butler County announced a partnership with the Hamilton Parks Conservancy to improve the walking trails at the 101-acre park located at 450 New London Road.
Steve Timmer, director of the nonprofit Hamilton Parks Conservancy, said he reached out to Jonathan Granville, MetroParks executive director, to develop a partnership using MetroParks’ expertise in building, re-building and maintaining trails.
“They’re the experts on trail building,” Timmer said. “There used to be walking trails in the woods but they need re-built and have the (overgrown) honeysuckle eradicated.”
He said MetroParks would be responsible for the maintenance and monitoring the existing trails, map and mark new trails or re-route trails if necessary, and take care of the signage needed. Timmer said the park conservancy would be responsible for cutting the grass and pond and parking lot maintenance. He also said that MetroParks has already started working on a number of things at the park.
“This will be a great win-win for both of us,” Timmer said. “We’ll have shared responsibility, and I think it’s going to work out great.”
MetroParks officials said this model of forging partnerships and collaborations to serve residents is consistent with MetroParks ongoing strategy of leveraging the public investment made by their park customers/owners.
The Hamilton Parks Conservancy, which provides management services to the city of Hamilton for nearly 1,400 acres of park land within the city boundaries, and MetroParks began discussions in 2015 regarding ways in which the two entities might work together to benefit the citizens of the city of Hamilton. Focusing on the strength of both groups a Cooperative Services Agreement was signed in late December under which MetroParks will provide numerous services to park customer/owners specifically at the Miami Woods location.
During these talks, it was determined that Miami Woods, which is primarily a generally wooded area with some open areas, was in need of immediate trail work. A longer term goal was to develop an overall master concept development plan to be created and implemented in order to maximize the use of the area by the citizens of and visitors to the city. MetroParks experience with trails; as well as, the design and implementation of master plans for the development of park areas, made collaboration at this location the logical choice for both organizations.
“The reason that this collaboration makes sense is that both organizations can do what we do best and it leverages the strengths of both organizations,” said Jason Shamblin, MetroParks deputy director, in a news release. “Working together to achieve common goals is a MetroParks strategy and we are pleased to be able to collaborate with the Hamilton Parks Conservancy to achieve great results and to serve more park customer/owners.”
MetroParks services for Miami Woods Park
Development of a comprehensive invasive plant control plan on the property geared toward improving the health of the forested area by the removal of invasive species, such as honeysuckle
Routine monitoring and maintenance of existing trails
Mapping and marking of the trails
Re-routing of trails to improve the trail experience
Providing and installing uniform trail signage
Safety improvements to the trails, including the replacement or repair of foot trail bridges
Source: MetroParks of Butler County