A new initiative identifies "Greenspace Gems" in the Greater Cincinnati region and Bog Bone Lick State Historic Site in Boone County is among the first five selected.
Greenspace Gems was launched by Green Umbrella, an organization devoted to environmental sustainability, and recognizes and celebrates natural areas for their outstanding scenic value, biological diversity, scientific importance, or historic interest. The goal, an announcement said, is to grow public support for greenspace conservation and the organizations who are leading this work in our region.
Greenspace Gems are selected by a team of conservation experts from Green Umbrella’s Greenspace Action Team.
“These acres of conserved greenspace help preserve the quality of our air, water and soil. Embedded within the protected landscape are geologic, topographic and historic places that often support species with declining populations. These sites not only provide valuable field study opportunities for scientists and students, but also allow visitors to observe the natural, pre-settlement communities that once covered the Tri-State region,” said Stan Hedeen, Emeritus Professor of Biology at Xavier University.
The first five Greenspace Gems were just released:
- Bender Mountain Nature Preserve (Hamilton County, Ohio)
- Big Bone Lick State Historic Site (Boone County, Kentucky)
- Caesar Creek Gorge State Nature Preserve (Warren County, OH)
- Caldwell Nature Preserve (Hamilton County, OH)
- Rowe Woods (Clermont County, OH)
20 years ago, Green Umbrella was originally organized to conserve greenspace and unite citizens and groups concerned about preserving and restoring the abundant diversity of wildlife and plants that thrive in the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana area. Launching this initiative now, two decades later, highlights the region’s great achievement in having protected over 116,000 acres of greenspace to date, a news release said.
“Greenspace protection is another way our region is staying on the leading edge of sustainability,” said Ryan Mooney-Bullock, communications and program manager for Green Umbrella.
Last year, Greater Cincinnati was recognized as being the nation’s #1 metro area for sustainability by Site Selection magazine, an important resource for economic development professionals and corporate leaders looking for where to expand and locate their businesses.
Green Umbrella finds inspiration in the work of other cities. For example, Vancouver, which seeks to be the world’s greenest city, has a goal that every resident lives within a 5-minute walk of a park, greenway, or other greenspace by 2020. Vancouver’s latest progress report indicates that 92.7 percent of its city land area is within a 5-minute walk to greenspace.
“Cincinnati can tout its greenspace stats too," said Margaret Minzner, member of Green Umbrella's Greenspace Action Team and senior environmental planner for OKI Regional Council of Governments. "In the City of Cincinnati, 94 percent of the land area is within a half mile or about 10-minute walk to greenspace.
"And 96 percent of our Tri-State population lives within 2 miles of protected greenspace."
Image: Big Bone Lick (provided)