What Makes a Park – Angst

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.

I like to believe that the potential for parks is alive just about everywhere. Though much of the land we know is developed, used, or owned, our lands are still very much capable of being restored into natural green spaces. It’s a remarkable experience to witness the familiar beauty reinstated into the places we love.

Meet Angst Nature Preserve MetroPark. As one of the newest parks in MetroParks of Butler County’s Park System, Angst is currently undergoing several restoration projects in hopes of transforming this green space into a park destination enjoyable to all. This property was originally secured from Helen Angst, who passed away in 2019. She lived on the property her entire life and dreamt that the land be used for public enjoyment as a nature preserve in the future.

Now MetroParks has stepped in to make that dream a reality. Efforts are being made to restore the farm fields into natural meadows. Other planned improvements include the additions of trails, a playground, and restroom facilities. More recently, however, a restoration has just been completed on the barn on the property, which has beautifully preserved a piece of the Angst family history and made for a stunning focal point for this park.

Before and after barn restoration photos

Despite the future plans for Angst, even now it offers itself as an enjoyable park destination. I recently visited to see the newly restored barn, but also took a trek on the Snakeroot Trail, which is 1 mile in length and traverses through woods, streams, and farm fields. Though a winter chill is now ever-present in the air, the trails are still begging to be explored. Angst is the perfect retreat when our souls crave a breath of fresh air and time spent outdoors.

As more changes are made to Angst, I cannot wait to see the future renewal efforts unfold in this park. Green spaces are all around us, but to find them we must have the right perspective and intentions. In order to know what makes a park, we must first understand how we can transform our lands for the better.

Addy Werling

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.


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