Hamilton County parks
3:10 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Park District going high-tech; changing name and look

The newly renamed Great Parks of Hamilton County will feature a bird-themed logo.
Credit Great Parks of Hamilton County / Provided

The Hamilton County Park District is going high-tech to deal with the Emerald Ash Borer.

Park employees are using iPads to track ash trees and assess the situation across the county.

Executive Director Jack Sutton says the data is used to determine which trees should be treated or removed.

"We've already removed close to a thousand so most of our removal for 2013 is complete," says Sutton. "We typically do that in the wintertime so now they're doing surveys getting geared up for the fall and winter."

Sutton says $450,000 is budgeted for tree removal and cleanup. Removing one tree ranges between $500 and $1200. Some of the lumber is then given to Cincinnati Public Schools to be used for flooring or made into furniture. Most, however, is turned into mulch for use throughout the park system. The district used to sell some of the trees to lumber companies but Sutton says that market is now saturated.

Besides fewer ash trees, you may notice something new next time you visit a county park - the district is changing its name and getting a new logo. The name, Great Parks of Hamilton County, and bird-themed logo aim to unify the park system, according to Sutton.

"Visually (the bird) represents that we're a conservation agency. We preserve land resources, water resources and wildlife resources. And a bird migrates all over those areas."

Other changes include a new website and efforts to better promote the district's programs and activities.