This news article was found in the home of Marian Johnson. There was no indication of when it was written or from what newspaper it was taken, but the articlerecounts some of the very early history of the land. The article has been reprinted hereverbatim for your enjoyment!
Park district’s strategic planning prior to the Johnson Hills acquisition
Prior to the acquisition, the Anderson Park District engaged in a comprehensive strategic planning process. The purpose in developing this strategic plan was to embrace the community’s vision for parks and recreation services and identify critical links between customers, staff, natural resources, parks recreation facilities, programs, partners and community leaders. The Board of Park Commissioners took a very detailed look at the park district’s current facilities, services and practices; the need for future facilities and services; possible alternative revenue sources and possible partnerships. A variety of meaningful community involvement opportunities were provided to reach as many citizens and leaders as possible in order to gather information and gain their insight on how the park district should spend its resources.
Information was gathered from residents through a public hearing, focus group studies, and through two surveys conducted by the APD in 1997 and 2000. The strategic plan has been designed to act as a road map to guide the APD in the near future. It’s important to note that the plan is dynamic and will continue to be a work in progress.
The plan’s findings revealed two key points regarding the future development of the APD. First, as the top priority, the residents and community stakeholders of Anderson said they would like to see Beech Acres Park redeveloped from parkland with strictly athletic fields to a park with more diverse, active recreation amenities. Second, they called for a park with more passive, nature-orientated opportunities.
The APD’s Operating Levy passed on November 7, 2000. The majority of the operating levy is earmarked for existing park district programs and facilities. In addition, over 30% of the annual operating budget is supplemented with sources outside of taxes. The levy passage provided enough funding to begin routine maintenance of Johnson Park, however, development funds are primarily devoted to the Beech Acres Park Development. The majority of the development dollars for Johnson Park will come from alternative sources. To stretch the APD’s limited funds further, some of the construction will be performed by our full-time staff; construction equipment was purchased for the Beech Acres development and will also be used in this development.
Planning for Johnson Hills Park
The Johnson Park Planning Committee was formed utilizing interested citizen volunteers; the committee began its work in April of 2001. With the assistance of the APD staff and the planning firm, Human Nature, four master plan alternatives were developed in 2001. Once the construction of Beech Acres Park began, this planning was put on hold. Planning continued in 2009, and with the input of Residents, the APD Board directed staff to move forward with the Master plan at the 2010 January Board meeting.
8249 Clough Pike
Cincinnati, OH 45244
Main Office: (513) 474-0003
Recreation: (513) 388-5082
Park Hotline: (513) 357-6629