CINCINNATI (August 1, 2019) – The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden teamed up with the Cincinnati Reds, Major League Baseball, P&G, and Kroger today to transform Ross Park in the Village of St. Bernard as part of the 2019 Community Makeover.
“Our horticulture team has been working for the past two weeks to get trees, bushes, plants, mulch, and more ready for volunteers to put in place today,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s Director of Horticulture Stephen Foltz. “This is the 6th community makeover project that we’ve been a part of, so we’ve learned how to be efficient in order to get this huge job done in one day! When the volunteers arrive, our job gets easier! We get to work alongside people who have become friends over the years and see hundreds of hands make a vision come to life. It’s awesome.”
The park transformation includes a renovated ball field, renamed “Frank Robinson Field”, a new recreation trail, which features 10 fitness stations, a dog park, concession stand and nursing room, a community gathering space, and giant baseball-themed structures like a 22’ tall fiberglass bat and ball that has Frank Robinson’s signature on it.
“It’s great that this year’s makeover location is so close to the Zoo,” said Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard. “I ride my bike through St. Bernard often and look forward to seeing young ballplayers on the renovated field in Ross Park and the whole community enjoying the new recreation trail and fitness stations that the Zoo team planned and excavated!”
In addition to providing elements to beautify the site, the Zoo and its partners made some important contributions that might not be seen but will benefit the neighborhood. The facilities team created a drain system to eliminate a permanently wet hillside that has plagued the City of St Bernard for decades and installed safety planters that will keep kids in the new picnic area away from the parking lot and moving cars.
The goal of the annual Community Makeover project is to make a transformative and sustainable impact on a Cincinnati neighborhood and its residents while strengthening local youth baseball and softball programs. The investments in the St. Bernard project will provide significant and sustainable impact in the long-term development of the community and its residents.
Project partners for the 2019 Community Makeover include Cincinnati Children’s, Pepper Construction, MSA Design, Motz Group, Duke Energy, Cincinnati Toolbank, OneSource, Southwestern Ohio Services, Ashlee Fence and Gallant Professional Services.
The Zoo will participate in a second 2019 makeover on August 15 in Bellevue, Ky.