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So Cincinnati: Cincinnati Parks

CINCINNATI (Joe Webb) -- It was a beautiful day in Cincinnati and great day to head to the park on Friday.
And in Cincinnati, there are a lot of parks to choose from.  Cincinnati has thousands of acres of park land and a national reputation as a "park-friendly" city.  It's a sunny good Friday and Cincinnatians headed to the parks.  The Napier clan packed a picnic basket and set up camp near Mirror Lake.  It's something Dianne Napier did with her parents when she was a kid.

"It's good place to have.  Families can get together and just relax. The boys can run and have fun and they're not cooped up," Dianne said.

Cincinnati's parks have a long rich history that dates back nearly 200 years.  Shortly after it was founded, city fathers saw the need for accessible, natural space.  The first park?  Piatt Park built in 1817.  It's not only the first park but the only one with a statue of a horse and rider. 
By the time of the Civil War, workers were already converting the near eastside hills into Eden Park.  Washington Park would soon follow.  In 1907, everything was taken up a notch when Cincinnati became one of the first cities with a comprehensive park plan. 

Today, the trust for public land says 14% of Cincinnati is park land. Nearly twice the national average.

Steven Schuckman of Cincinnati Parks said, "Generally, what they find are the top 4 in the country year after year are Boston, Seattle, Minneapolis and Cincinnati."
120 parks and nature preserves over 5,000 acres is a big deal but the size of Cincinnati parks is not its only asset.  Many parks have a distinct look and feature depression-era construction by the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps.  Plus, there's that great Cincinnati topography.

Schuckman continues, "A lot of the land that was donated to us or we bought was to protect the hillsides. That took advantage of the views.  I don't know of any other system that has the kind of overlooks we have or the extraordinary views we have."
And Cincinnatians put their parks to good use.  We love our flowers but really love our family gatherings and especially our festivals.  So many of those happen in parks and whethere it's a small celebration like Earth Day or a half a million or so at Riverfest or having walks in parks to raise money, you keep finding yourself in a park.
Generation after generation, it's hard to beat a day in the park.  And Cincinnati gives you plenty to choose from. 

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