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Return to Nature

Give back to the local parks that provide comfort and refuge during the pandemic and beyond.

The search for safe and fun outdoor activities amidst pandemic cabin fever has led many to the natural resources of public parks. After pausing their gym time, parks also provided people with safe alternatives for exercise. Others sought out parks for a change of scenery or a momentary escape. We’ve all found a renewed value in our parks, so it’s a great time to look for ways to show appreciation by volunteering, donating and supporting them as they’ve supported us. 

1. Warren County Park District

Donate to local parks with a Friends of the Warren County Parks District membership or through the Kroger Community Rewards program. Students interested in volunteering can sign up to pick up sticks and trash at Carmody Park and Armco Park. Further donation and volunteering opportunities are available on the Parks District website, Co.Warren.Oh.us/Parks/. 

2. Little Miami Conservancy

Since 1967, the Little Miami Conservancy has dedicated themselves to the preservation of more than 110 nature preserves along the Little Miami River. The staff recommends volunteering for the Little Miami Clean Sweep events. During these events, volunteers remove tires and trash from the river and its surrounding areas. All dates and details are listed online atLittleMiami.org.  

3. Mason Parks and Recreation Foundation

The Mason Parks and Recreation Foundation focuses on enhancing local parks and recreation programs through volunteer activities and fundraising efforts. They’re currently working to establish the Common Ground Playground and adaptive ball fields at Makino Park and more. These inclusive recreation areas will help encourage children of all abilities to interact. To show support, visit their website, atMasonParksFoundation.org

4. Deerfield Parks and Recreation

Help Deerfield Parks and Recreation by sponsoring one of their many fun community events. This year a volunteer event to clear invasive species at Kingswood Park is being held in partnership with the Ohio River Foundation. For volunteering and sponsorship opportunities reach out to Stephanie Gebele sgebe@deerfieldtwp.com or checkDeerfieldRec.com

5. Caesar Creek Nature Center Association

The Caesar Creek Nature Center Association is dedicated to preserving Caesar Creek State Park. The Nature Center is currently closed, but volunteer sign-ups are available for park maintenance and repair projects on their website,CaesarCreekNatureAssociation.org. Inquiries can be directed to Volunteer Coordinator Erin Shaw at erin.shaw@dnr.ohio.gov. 

6. MetroParks of Butler County

The MetroParks of Butler County encompass many recreation areas, including Governor Bebb, Chrisholm, Voice of America, Forest Run and Rentschler Forest. Long-term volunteer positions are available, including Campground Host, Farm Caretaker and more. Find further opportunities to donate, volunteer or sponsor an event at YourMetroParks.net

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