Walnut Woods of Evanston is officially open

What’s happening: Walnut Hills High School, the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Parks, and the Evanston Community Council unveil the result of their collaborate project—Walnut Woods of Evanston.

What it is: This project began in 2016 as a grassroots effort between Walnut Hills High School (WHHS) students, parents, and faculty to address a neglected 10-acre property near the school. In the time since, over 5,600 volunteer hours and $40,000 in grant funds have gone to support the lots rehabilitation and reforestation. It is now an outdoor classroom, thriving urban green space, and a publicly accessible park.

What they’re saying: “[The WHHS community] envisioned a rehabilitated natural area that could serve as a land lab for high school science classes and as a welcoming and accessible park space for the Evanston community. With the help and support of Cincinnati Parks, this dedicated coalition began a sustained volunteer effort to clean up trash, remove invasive species and plant a few trees,” says Karen Kahle, executive director at the Civic Garden Center (CGC).

She continues, “CGC got involved in fall of 2018 when we created our Treeforestation initiative and were looking for a habitat restoration site to really commit to and sink our teeth into. We think it has become a great model for engaging students in restoration work. We work with the students to propagate plants and trees from seed that are then planted in the woods. I like to think about students coming back years from now with their families and showing them the trees they planted when they were students there.”

Why it’s important: Walnut Hills High School is consistently ranked among the best schools in Ohio. This project adds to its amenities by offering a living lab for science classes and an outdoor classroom for all areas of study. It is the flagship site for the Civic Garden Center’s Treeforestation habitat restoration program and the park and its mulched trail system are available for public use, adding valuable green space to the Evanston community.

Walnut Woods of Evanston is located between Victory Parkway and Sulsar Avenue, adjacent to Walnut Hills High School, 3250 Victory Pkwy, Cincinnati, OH 45207. 
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Liz McEwan is a proud wife, mama, urbanite, musician and blogger. Follow her at The Walking Green and on twitter at @thewalkinggreen.