MetroParks wants feedback on undeveloped park

Davidson Woods is unique because of its ‘spectacular views and untouched, mature woodlands.’

Credit: Submitted

Credit: Submitted

MetroParks of Butler County has secured a $370,000 grant to help develop the Davidson Woods park property in Hanover Twp., and officials are hoping the public can give them some ideas.

Courtesy of the Ohio Public Works Commission, MetroParks obtained the Clean Ohio Fund — Green Space Conservation Program grant funds to construct a paved drive, parking area and accessible trail at Davidson Woods.

“Davidson Woods is unique property because of its size, spectacular views and untouched, mature woodlands,” Director of Planning Zeb Acuff said. “We’re looking forward to opening the park for people to explore, relax in and enjoy.”

The Butler County commissioners also awarded the county park system $450,000 in American Rescue Plan Act money to help open the closed area to the public.

MetroParks wanted $4.5 million of the ARPA funds for trail system improvements and $5 million to create scenic overlooks in nine parks in the rural reaches of the county. The commissioners agreed to $2.5 million for the trail extension and $450,000 for the rural parks. MetroParks decided to put the park money into Davidson Woods.

When they received the county funds, Executive Director Jackie O’Connell told the Journal-News they plan to be very deliberate when it comes to the Davidson Woods project by holding public input sessions, because that property is simply nature right now and they want to know how neighbors want it developed.

“We were thinking some trails out there, parking areas, an overlook; $450,000 doesn’t go very far when you’re opening up a new property,” she said. “What we want to see is what the people want out there. It has got beautiful vistas we can’t wait to open up to the rest of the county, but we know it holds deep sentiment for people in that area.”

The $820,000 in combined grant funding will help construct the basic infrastructure needed to open the park for daily use as well as capitalize on the property’s scenic overlook. Access improvements to Davidson Woods are expected to begin in the summer of 2024.

MetroParks opened an online survey a couple weeks ago to begin gathering feedback at: Here are a few comments they have received so far:

  • I like the idea of a fitness, adventure-oriented park. Would be a great way to promote exercise and exploration of all that Davidson Woods has to offer!
  • Keeping it more natural would be best for nature and the ecology of the park. Guided events to watch birds and other wildlife would be ideal. Back to nature vibe and feeling would be best.
  • So excited for this as the planned park will be minutes from my neighborhood! I would love to see the natural area preserved as much as possible. There are plenty of parks with playgrounds, disc golf, soccer fields, etc. in the surrounding area for people to utilize. We need more natural spaces to allow us to be able to be at peace in and admire nature.
  • Horseback riding the trails is extremely popular in the area. Also camping is getting very popular for families.
  • I’m an avid mountain biker and feel spending times in the woods biking, hiking, jogging, and walking is great for people’s mental health and overall well being. We need more trail areas across Cincinnati and this area sounds great for outdoor adventure activities.

In addition there will be two in-person forums. The first will be Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to noon at Twin Run Golf Course, 2505 Eaton Road, and another Nov. 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 the Hanover Township Community Center, 2595 Old Oxford Road.

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