What makes a park? In an era of social media, van lifestyles, and national park bucket lists, it can be easy to overlook the beauty found right in our backyards. The truth is that we don’t have to travel far to experience nature. There are no grand and majestic requirements when it comes to what makes a park. The beauty of nature comes in all shapes and sizes, all colors and locations.
At MetroParks of Butler County we understand and cherish the uniqueness of parks more than ever. Join us on our first blog series as we highlight each of our green spaces in Butler County and discover what truly makes a park.
Our first feature will highlight Green Heron MetroPark. Located in the outskirts of Hamilton, Ohio, this park showcases just a sliver of the beauty found right here in Butler County. Though all of the parks featured on the blog will be local to the area, each encompasses a unique landscape with offerings to please even the pickiest parkgoers.
Let’s dive into Green Heron MetroPark. Making its debut on June 4th of this year, Green Heron is a newly established green space. Though smaller in size, this park packs a punch within its 46 acres. Here you’ll find the Amehkwa Trail, a 1.1-mile loop that is amply shaded and offers ideal spots for wildlife watching. The trail is well marked, with six checkpoints along the path.
Though this park can be known for its primitive features, the naturalness of this area was a major appeal to me, as I’m sure it will be for many others. Especially in the highspeed pace of our world, moments where we can step away and slow down are rare. Green Heron offers a space that holds a familiarity of the wilderness. A place that is local, but also seemingly far away from the rest of the world.
Like features on a human face, parks also hold an identity, making them unique and distinctive from one another. The main characteristic of Green Heron is its beautiful tree canopy, offering a shaded trail and glorious views as the sun leaks in through its crevices. I visited in the morning, and it was as if the freshly risen sun was waking the park from its overnight slumber. Color began to intensify in the scenery. The melody of songbirds rang through the trees. Birds and butterflies gently glided through the air. A new day had begun.
As I exited out from under the tree canopy, the trail’s dirt path was replaced with a green clover carpet. With a newfound absence of trees, this part of the trail was bursting with light and color, as patches of wildflowers and grasses lined the path. Wildflower blooms of every shape, size, and shade could be spotted, with their friendly pollinators always nearby.
I relished in all the beauty this park had to offer on my short 1.1-mile hike. Though the path is not paved, it is still an easy and relaxed hike that allowed me to fully immerse myself in nature. When it comes to what makes a park, Green Heron offers itself as a flourishing escape to the trees. Away from the rest of the world, a dose of nature from Green Heron is something we all need.
We hope you’ll continue with us on our journey as we visit each of our MetroParks in Butler County. Each with their own characteristics and features, the possibilities of parks are endless. But when it comes down to it, the requirements for what make a park are simpler than we might think.
Addy is a junior at Miami University in Oxford with a major in marketing. She recently joined the MetroParks team as an intern in the summer of 2022. With a love for writing and connecting with others, she has helped MetroParks in the creation of their very first blog, Footprints. Although she had only set foot in one MetroPark when she began, she is excited to explore new green spaces here in Butler County and showcase them on the blog. Outside of work, Addy enjoys spending time outside, camping, running, hiking, and playing with her dog, Max. She appreciates you taking the time to read her content on the blog and hopes that through this platform, we all can find a renewed gratitude for the outdoors.