Great Parks manages more than 10,000 acres of forested land. This is approximately 58% of all land managed by the park district. Other land types conserved by Great Parks are meadow, water resources, prairie, wetland, and brushland. The park district adheres to an 80/20 policy that says 80% of total land holdings will be maintained in a natural state and managed for ecological benefits.
Why are forests such a large part of Great Parks? Based on 18th century survey notes of the Federal Government Land Office, we know that prior to European settlement Hamilton County was mostly forested. Forest is Hamilton County’s natural state! Great Parks protects this resource, and plants “future forests,” to maintain biodiversity of plant and animal wildlife. These efforts have resulted in healthy habitats for bald eagles, gray foxes, great horned owls, flying squirrels, and many other species.