2023 Community Makeover Transforms Madisonville

Posted July 28, 2023

Reds, P&G, Cincinnati Zoo, and Cincinnati Children’s Hit Home Run in Madisonville

CINCINNATI, OH (July 28, 2023) — The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden partners with the Reds Community Fund, P&G, and Cincinnati Children’s annually to transform Cincinnati neighborhoods by upgrading and renovating community centers, baseball fields, and community gardens.  The 2023 Community Makeover culminated yesterday when 400 volunteers rolled up their sleeves to make improvements and additions to four sites in Madisonville.

“The overnight transformation is impressive, and working alongside the volunteers on makeover day is something I wouldn’t miss. It reinforces that the months of planning that goes into each of these projects is well worth the return on investment,” said Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s director of horticulture Steve Foltz.

The Zoo’s main contribution this year was to design and create a nature playscape and outdoor classroom at John P. Parker Elementary. The horticulture team modeled the new urban learning garden at the school after the Urban Learning Garden at Rockdale Academy, which was part of the 2021 Community Makeover in Avondale. It includes similar elements like pollinator gardens, solar panels, flowering vines, and vegetables. Some of the plants in the new garden came from the garden at Rockdale!

Two unique areas are a butterfly garden shaped like a butterfly and a world garden in the shape of the continents. Each continent features plants that grow in that region to give students an idea of global economies and the richness each region of the earth contributes to the food system.

“Students and teachers alike will be able to experience the beauty of nature and rediscover our connection to the importance of plants in our lives. Most importantly, how we all can have a positive impact on our environment and in our communities by planting more plants. It really is a simple solution to a complex problem,” said Foltz.

A new amphitheater made of natural, local limestone will allow students to sit in the shade of trees while learning in this outdoor classroom. This space can also be used for student concerts, and after-school learning.

“We pour our hearts, souls, and sweat into these community projects because they are important and impact so many people,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s vice president of facilities and sustainability Mark Fisher. “What we’ve created here, along with many other key partners and volunteers, will live on for decades.”

Additional project partners for this year’s makeover included Cincinnati Recreation Commission, GE Aerospace, OneSource Center, Cincinnati ToolBank, SonLight Power, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Duke Energy Foundation, and Medpace.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden opens daily at 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. Where are the gardens? They are everywhere inside and around the Zoo’s 80-acre campus and free to enjoy with Zoo admission.

DID YOU KNOW…. You pay more than $10 less per ticket on select days, when you purchase tickets online!  That’s a $40 savings for a family of 4! For more information visit www.cincinnatizoo.org.