The volunteer job is “pretty simple,” said Bruner. He walks around the parks, picks up trash if he sees it, checks for issues, and talks with people.
“It’s giving back,” he said. “It’s only two to three hours a week I’m actually at the parks doing stuff.”
Last fall, Kim Kent retired after being self-employed doing senior care for the past 10 years. The 62-year-old wanted to volunteer in some fashion, then she read about the Parks Ambassador program in one of the city’s publications and thought, “This was perfect. This is what I’m going to do.”
She focuses a lot of her time helping at FurField ― she adopted a dog last July and lives a two-minute drive from the dog park. And socializing is what she enjoys, and believes helps out the parks program the most.
“I socialize every time I’m there. You meet someone new, and talk to them,” Kent said. “There’s nothing really super required of you. It’s fun, and you meet a lot of people. I meet new people every single time I go. I really love the socialization of it.”
She said a lot of people come from outside the city, and she references them to the FurField Facebook page.
Mays said the department has a “very robust and well-established” volunteer program, and the city has added new park land in recent years. These volunteers are everyday users of the parks and are “our eyes and ears,” she said.
“They’re proud users of our parks. They take ownership of what we do,” she said. “We definitely have to embrace the people that our advocates, and put them in that role where we give them that for us.”
The Park Ambassador program is managed by the city’s volunteer coordinator, Brittany Theilman. She can be reached at 513-896-8439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Black Bottom & Fair Play Park, 6795 River Road
- Creekside Park, 5225 Banker Drive
- Fairfield Youth Football Fields, 4875 Groh Lane
- Fairfield Youth Playfields, 4920 River Road
- Founders Park, 756 Hicks Boulevard
- FurField Dog Park, 6611 River Road
- Gateway Park, 5295 Pleasant Avenue
- Gilbert Farms Park, 6181 Ross Road
- Good Neighbors Park, 960 Walter Avenue
- Grange Park, 960 Walter Avenue
- Hamilton-Fairfield Skate Park, 95 Joe Nuxhall Way
- Harbin Park, 1300 Hunter Road
- Huffman Park, 2100 John Gray Road
- Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields at Hatton Park, 4850 Groh Lane
- Lions Park, 4982 Dennison Drive
- Miami Chapel Cemetery, 6440 River Road
- Oakwood Park, 1-½ Jupiter Court
- Point Pleasant Park, 2001 Resor Road
- Public Safety Tribute, 695 Nilles Road
- Symmes Burial Grounds, 933 Nilles Road
- Thomas O. Marsh Park, 701 Wessel Drive
- Veterans Memorial Park, 701 Wessel Drive
- Village Green Hillside Preserve, 5199 Sherry Lane
- Village Green Park, 301 Wessel Drive
- Village Valley Park, 3353 Village Drive
- Waterworks Park, 5133 Groh Lane
- Winton Hills Park, 6251 Shearwater Drive
- Woodcreek Park, 2200 Woodcreek Drive