Cincinnati Parks


Our Parks depend on support from those who use and love them. Your contribution of time is one way to help Cincinnati Parks maintain our status as one of the top urban park systems in the country. From working out in the parks with dirty hands to engaging the community for special events to administrative tasks – there are opportunities for everyone. We have one-time and ongoing opportunities available to provide you with a rewarding and satisfying volunteer experience.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Krohn Conservatory

Krohn Conservatory hosts a nationally recognized showcase of more than 3,500 plant species from around the world. Our permanent collection includes desert plants, tropical specimens, Bonsai trees, rare orchids, carnivorous plants and exotic fruit trees.

Krohn Conservatory was built in 1933 at the height of the Art Deco era.  Boasting five unique floral shows annually, including the ever-popular “Butterfly Show,” which can be viewed mid-March through mid-June.  During that time, thousands of butterflies are free to fly throughout the show room in a specially-themed garden.

Volunteers support the day to day operations of the facility, help with changing out floral displays, support events and provide educational interpretation as docents, and welcome guests as ambassadors.    

Working In Parks - Horticulture Assistance

There is a tremendous need for outdoor enthusiasts to help maintain urban parks and greenspaces throughout by:

Horticulture assistance – mulching, weeding, litter removal, varying tasks depending on season
Removing honeysuckle and other invasive plants
Trail maintenance
Removing and/or replacing ground cover
Planting flowers and trees

Youth Service Program

Cincinnati Parks enlists the invaluable assistance of teen volunteers to serve in the Counselors-In-Training Program. Designed for teens, it’s an awesome opportunity to learn new skills in a fun, safe environment. Our Counselors-In-Training (CIT) assist group leaders during games, give guidance during crafts time, and provide an additional watchful eye during hikes and other engaging activities. A CIT may also be paired as a “buddy” with a special needs child who requires more personal attention during camp activities. This volunteer opportunity is a great chance for teens to become engaged in their community and build their leadership skills.

REQUIREMENTS:

Must be at least 13 years old
Complete the application process
Send one personal reference email
Show respect for the environment, enjoy being outdoors in all weather conditions and have a desire to interact with children

Administrative and Leadership Opportunities

Are you interested in supporting the Cincinnati Parks, band have organizational skills, administrative talents, or would prefer to help "behind the scenes"? CincyParks welcomes the enthusiasm and support of individuals that want to be a part of our leadership teams, help administratively, and advocate for our public lands. Opportunities include:

 

  • Data entry
  • Photography
  • Cincinnati Parks Advisory Council (CPAC) membership
  • Event planning
  • Committee work
  • Multi - media support
  • Newsletter editor 

Work With the Public - Events and Programming

Many Cincinnati traditions take place within Cincinnati Parks. Special events take place in parks throughout the city such as summer camps and summer concert series simply cannot happen without the support of volunteers.

Whether you prefer welcoming the public, and working a craft tables or sharing educational information about nature, you will certainly find satisfaction and enjoyment as a community outreach volunteer. 

Conservation & Land Stewardship

Cincinnati Parks depends on the support of volunteers in our endless efforts to combat the impact of invasive plant species and maintain the 65 + miles of trails throughout our parks system. Cincinnati Parks makes up 10% of the city's land mass, including thousands of acres of forest and woodland areas, we are faced with acres of honeysuckle, invasive vines, garlic mustard, lesser celandine and other aggressive and stubborn non-native plant species. Our mighty, but limited staff cannot not consistently attend to the aggressive nature of these plants without community involvement.

Volunteers are organized by staff and community leaders. This structured program offers a wide range of opportunity for volunteers to engage in our efforts of habitat restoration and the preservation of our natural areas. Volunteers work alongside staff and volunteers on service projects from an introductory and novice level to becoming trained and established as a Land Steward, holding a license to apply pesticide, certify volunteers in pesticide application, and managing the long-term land management plan of a Cincinnati Parks designated area. 

Administrative, Creative & Special Interest Projects

Cincinnati Parks welcome the help and talents of a wide variety. The gifts of many talented, pragmatic, devoted volunteers enhance our parks and programming in invaluble ways.

If you have a knack for crafting, building, photography, creative writing, data entry, crunching numbers, organizing, scheduling, sewing, acting, playing, technology, or anything you'd like to share - please check out what these interesting or unusual ways volunteers help us! If you see something missing - contact our Volunteer Coordinator. 

 

Activity Shifts Start End
Carpentry Project - Wolf Planetarium Modifications 1
Cincinnati Parks Archives Library Assistance 0
Mask Makers 1
Multi-Media Support Team 1
Photgraphy, Videography & Editing 1
Tree Catalog Project 0
Virtual Administrative Support 0

Conservation & Land Stewardship

Cincinnati Parks depends on the support of volunteers in our endless efforts to combat the impact of invasive plant species throughout our parks system. Cincinnati Parks makes up 10% of the city's land mass, including thousands of acres of forest and woodland areas. We are faced with acres of honeysuckle, invasive vines, garlic mustard, lesser celandine and other aggressive and stubborn non-native plant species. Our mighty, but limited staff cannot not consistently manage the aggressive nature of these plants without community involvement.

Volunteers are organized by staff and community leaders. This structured program offers a wide range of opportunity for volunteers to engage in our efforts of habitat restoration and the preservation of our natural areas. Volunteers work alongside staff and other volunteers on service projects from an introductory or novice level up to eventually becoming trained and established as a Land Steward, which can include holding a license to apply pesticide, certify volunteers in pesticide application, and becoming an integral part of implementing the long-term land management plan of a Cincinnati Parks designated area. 

The roles and requirements of this program are outlined below:

Introductory volunteer:

  • One - time or occasional service event volunteer

CPB Trained Service Person:

  • Serve on an invasive removal project a minimum of 10 hours
  • Complete a training series on invasive plants
  • Sign & submit the Cincinnati Parks Indemnification Policy

Site Manager:

  • Must be a CPB Trained Service Person
  • Must hold a CPB Volunteer Management Badge
  • Appointed by the Land Steward
  • Responsible for keeping records of volunteers and pesticide application the day of their charge

Land Steward:

  • Must be a CPB Trained Service Person
  • Must hold a ODA license 
  • Appointed by the Cincinnati Parks Land Manager
  • Responsible for keeping all pesticide application records for the designated Cincinnati Parks location
Activity Shifts Start End
Invasive Removal 1
Northside Greenspace - Invasive Removal Projects & Program Events 3 9/25/2021 11/6/2021

CPAC's - Cincinnati Parks Advisory Councils

CPAC Mission: To build and maintain public support for Cincinnati Parks by providing feedback to the Cincinnati Park Board and exchanging and sharing information and providing mutual support between park advisory councils.

 

Activity Shifts Start End
CPAC Service 1

Event & Program Support

Activity Shifts Start End
Amped Up Concert Series @ Scott Amphitheater Event Support 7 6/26/2021 9/25/2021
Music at the Esplanade @ Smale Riverfront Park - Event Support 5 7/10/2021 9/25/2021
Sawyer Point Summer Concert Series @ P&G Pavilion - Event Support 9 7/4/2021 9/25/2021

Horticulture Helpers

 

Cincinnati Parks have a long and distinguished tradition in Cincinnati. The city is fortunate to have a thriving system consisting of 5,000-plus acres of city parklands including five regional parks, 70 neighborhood parks, 34 natural areas, five neighborhood nature centers, 30 sites managed by the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, five parkways, 16 scenic overlooks, 2 arboretums, and 65 miles of hiking and bridle trails. Within this robust "city within a park", thousands of square footage of floral displays are created and maintained by a team of horticulturists that in no small way place the finishing beauty on the special destinations of Cincinnati Parks. 

We are organizing opportunities for volunteers to support the important work of Parks horticulture staff in select parks locations. Volunteers will assist Parks horticulturists with general horticultural needs (clearing, weeding, deadheading, light pruning, watering, and planting). This a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in public horticulture and enjoys working outdoors, and is comfortable engaging with the public to answer questions about our gardens. 

Some opportunities are team based and others have more autonomy, but in all cases the work is guided by our staff. The goal is to build an experienced group of volunteers to support efforts that keep our parks beautiful and healthy. All of these opportunities require an on-going commitment, minimum of one season, but hopefully more! 

When you register, you will have a brief interview with a volunteer coordinator or someone from the horticulture team. We want to ensure a good fit for all volunteers and the team. 

Activity Shifts Start End
Ault Park Horticultural Assistance 1
French Park Horticulture Assistance 1
Geier Esplanade (Oakley Square) Horticulture Assistance 1
Hyde Park Square Horticulture Assistance 1
Krohn Conservatory Grounds Assistance 0
Mt. Airy Arboretum Perennial Gardeners 1
Mt. Storm Gardeners 1
Olden View Garden Helpers 1
Smale Gardening Group 17 6/29/2021 10/26/2021

Krohn Conservatory

Activity Shifts Start End
2021 Butterfly Show Door Guard 0 5/8/2021 9/6/2021
Krohn Conservatory Horticulture Help 0
Krohn Conservatory Outreach Capstone 0
Krohn Crafters 1

MULCHING MANIA!! WEST & CENTRAL REGION PARKS

Our West ( & West Central) Region parks need some LOVE! We are still catching up on covid - related backlog of  tasks in areas of some parks that have not been mulched and it shows! This series of events will require the help of some mulching queens and kings, tree lovers and park supporters!!

Mulching will primarily be focused on tree rings, but in some instances play set & picnic areas 

Park Locations & Dates:

6/26 @ Mt. Storm - meet at the parking lot

7/10 @ Mt. Airy - various locations, details will be sent upon sign up

7/10 @ Mt. Echo - meet at parking lot adjacent shelter

7/24 @ Mt. Airy - various locations, reporting details will be sent upon sign up

Why do we mulch?!

Some of the advantages of mulch: Protects the soil from erosion, reduces compaction from the impact of heavy rains, conserves moisture, reducing the need for frequent waterings, maintains a more even soil temperature, prevents weed growth, provides a protective barrier from equipment like mowers, and lastly - it provides a "finished" look to the garden.

Volunteers will use pitchforks, wheelbarrows & rakes to load mulch up and distribute throughout the designated areas. 

Volunteers must wear close-toed shoes, dress in clothing appropriate to the weather (lightweight/long pants). We recommend all volunteers wear a face covering, hat, sunscreen. Please bring a refillable water bottle, parks discourages single use plastics. 

Regarding Covid-19:

In efforts to stop the spread, for the safety of our staff, volunteers and community please consider the following guidelines:

  • Do not participate If you or someone in your home is symptomatic (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath), or if someone you’ve come into close contact with is under investigation or diagnosed with a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Please use face covering and practice social distancing at all times while on the site.
  • Please use gloves at all times to handle the tools and equipment.

For more details or questions feel free to contact Christyl @ christyl.johnson-roberts@cincinnati-oh.gov text or call 513.240.57

 

Activity Shifts Start End
Mt. Airy Mulching Mania!! 2 7/10/2021 7/24/2021
Mt. Echo Mulching Mania!! 2 7/10/2021 7/24/2021
Mt. Storm Mulching Mania!! 1 6/26/2021 6/26/2021

Trails

Activity Shifts Start End
Trail Maintenance 1

Working In Parks - Independently

Activity Shifts Start End
Horticulture Assistance IN YOUR PARK 1
Litter Pick Up In YOUR Park 1
Riverfront Clean Up and Horticulture Assistance ONGOING 0
Tree Maintenance & Care 1

Working In Parks - Scheduled

Activity Shifts Start End
Mt. Storm Work Day 1 6/26/2021 6/26/2021

Youth

Activity Shifts Start End
CIT - Councelor In Training 1 5/1/2021 8/14/2021
EAGLE SCOUT PROJECTS 1

Mission Statement

"To conserve, manage, sustain and enhance parks' natural and cultural resources and public green spaces for the enjoyment, enlightenment and enrichment of the Cincinnati community."

The mission of the Cincinnati Board of Park Commissioners is “to conserve, manage, sustain, and enhance parks’ natural and cultural resources and public greenspace for the enjoyment, enlightenment and enrichment of the Cincinnati community.“ Our vision is to serve as a leader in using Cincinnati parks to build better lives and better communities. The Park Board’s guiding principles are for the parks to be clean, safe, reliable, green, beautiful and enriching.

Cincinnati Parks C.A.R.E.S

Creating Economic Impacts

Advancing Conservation

Rejuvenating Health and Wellness

Enhancing Quality of Life

Sustaining Social Equity