At a Glance

A new planning effort advances conservation and ecological restoration throughout a 17,666-acre park system.

Project Description

Great Parks of Hamilton County (GPHC) owns or manages over 17,666 acres of open space outside Cincinnati, Ohio and has a unique mandate to manage 80% of all park land in a natural state for conservation purposes. Their 2019 Comprehensive Master Plan builds on their mission to preserve and protect natural resources with a central goal of becoming “a recognized leader in conservation.”

As the master planning team, led by MKSK, moved from comprehensive planning into concept-level plans for each park, Biohabitats created a Natural Resources Framework  to identify the best investment opportunities for conservation and ecological restoration within each park  and guide operations and communication by the Natural Resources Department.

Working closely with GPHC, Biohabitats developed a three-part Framework Plan. The first element is a natural resource assessment, which catalogs, identifies threats to, and recommends management actions to protect and restore GPHC’s natural resources. The second element establishes system-wide goals and management best practices for each of thirteen ecological communities present in the parks. The third element of the framework offers guidance for addressing specific, county-wide challenges such as defining priorities for land acquisition.

Biohabitats also helped GPHC prioritize management actions and ecological restoration opportunities in each of Hamilton County’s parks. Biohabitats is developing some of these priorities into concept plans for site-specific restoration projects, such as restoring a more naturalized floodplain interaction at the former gravel pits of Campbell Lakes Preserve.



Ohio River

Physiographic Province



Ohio River

Expertise Areas



Great Parks of Hamilton County


Hamilton County, Ohio, United States

Project Team
  • MKSK